Jack Black Cast In ‘King Kong’ — No, Not As The Ape

Comedian will play a filmmaker/showman in Peter Jackson's remake.

Jack Black must not have offended Peter Jackson with his “The Lord of the Rings” spoof at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Jackson has cast the actor in his upcoming remake of “King Kong,” a Universal Pictures spokesperson said Tuesday (March 30).

Black will play aspiring New York filmmaker and showman Carl Denham in the movie, which will shoot this fall in New Zealand. The only other role filled so far is Broadway actress and dancer Ann Darrow, which will be played by “The Ring” star Naomi Watts.

Jackson has said he is interested in working again with “The Lord of the Rings” cast, and Andy Serkis, who voiced Gollum, has said he’s met with the director about playing King Kong himself (see ” ‘Rings’ Cast Scrambling For Parts In Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong’ “ ).

“The Lord of the Rings” co-screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are working with Jackson on the script for “King Kong,” the story of a frightening but ultimately sympathetic giant ape discovered on a remote island who eventually runs amok in the Big Apple. “King Kong” was considered a technical masterpiece when released in 1933. It was remade in 1976 starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.

Black, who was honored last week as Comedy Star of the Year at the ShoWest 2004 movie conference, will next co-star with Ben Stiller in “Envy,” opening April 30 (see “Jack Black, Ben Stiller Fall Deep In ‘Envy’ “ ).

The “School of Rock” star also has a cameo in Will Ferrell’s upcoming “Anchorman,” (opening July 9), is voicing a character in the animated “Shark Tale” with Will Smith and Robert De Niro (October 1) and is writing and planning to star in “Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny” (April 1, 2005) (see “Coming Soon: Tenacious D’s Big Fat Movie” ).

Black and Ferrell plan to team up again for a buddy cop comedy as well (see “Jack Black, Will Ferrell Teaming Up To Play Biker Cops” ), and he’s producing a documentary called “60 Spins Around the Sun,” which is being directed by his girlfriend, former “Saturday Night Live” comedienne Laura Kightlinger (see “Jack Black Working To Make Dog Turds And Drug Laws Disappear” ).