Seth Gordon Updates King of Kong Remake Status

November 17, 2008

The King of Kong

Those of you who are either gamers at heart or just love documentaries are probably familiar with a film called The King of Kong. The documentary became a cult hit almost overnight and introduced the world to two truly interesting rivals - Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell. When it was announced that New Line was picking up King of Kong for distribution, they also announced that they had already secured the remake rights and were planning a narrative version of the film. Yesterday we talked with Seth Gordon, who directed The King of Kong as well as the upcoming Four Christmases and is set to direct the narrative remake, and got a few updates from him about changes they'll make and the status of the project.

Gordon explained that "from the moment we first thought, people might want to see [the documentary], and therefore we might be seeking a theatrical release, it became clear that a narrative remake for it was what film studios would really be interested in." He adds that because there's no money in documentaries, New Line always had their eyes set on the remake rights. So after New Line picked it up, the first step was to get the documentary transcribed. "That was the first pass of the script in a sense, but then we hired a real writer to come in and take that content and shape scenes." That writer is Michael Bacall, a well-known actor who recently took up screenwriting and also penned Edgar Wright's upcoming Scott Pilgrim.

Those who have seen the doc know that there is already a great story from within the film to pull from, so in essence, not that many changes really needed to be made. "There's going to be less of the talking heads," Gordon says at first. "And we couldn't be everywhere for the making of the documentary, so some stuff had to be done that way. So we'll show the moments we weren't able to be present for, but in terms of the story, it's going to be a very similar story - about Wiebe losing his job, rediscovering Kong, thinking he's the best in the world at something only to have it taken away by a guy who won't let go of his title." Thankfully this all makes sense and it doesn't sound like too much of a departure from the original.

"We're going to try, if we can, to really reference and use the documentary where possible," Gordon adds. "To me it's about not compromising the original, if we can help it." Sounds like this is actually being treated very well - so when will it all finally come together and be given the official greenlight? "They have made a really strong, aggressive commitment to it -- because it's also New Line, they know that all my time has been invested in [Four Christmases]. So I imagine it's something that'll be able to start up again pretty soon." Based on that comment, it sounds like this will be Gordon's next project after he finishes up press for Four Christmases. I can't wait to see who they cast as Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell!

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I find this to be kind of pointless.

Trystan on Nov 17, 2008


Hmmmm... I'm having a hard time coming up with a Wiebe, but how about William Fichtner as Mitchell?

Brian G on Nov 17, 2008


i can see it as a really crappy Office Space(not that office space is crappy, i just think this will have the feel of it) type comedy.

Al on Nov 17, 2008


If they do this I'd like to see it like American Splendor where the actual people are there as well.

Kent on Nov 17, 2008


oh and here's hoping Willie Nelson plays Walter Day.

Kent on Nov 17, 2008


sounds weird

Scott McHenry on Nov 17, 2008


Oh Jeez. The writer is just awful. His Scott Pilgrim was about one of the worst things I've ever read. Get him off this flick, he's got something for butchering beloved things into movies.

Howler on Nov 17, 2008


yay for hollywood making another original movie!!!

tom on Nov 17, 2008


I agree with Trystan this does seem pointless. I mean I liked King of Kong, but to make it a narrative seems really silly.

kdr on Nov 17, 2008


It has possible potential, but i'm only going on my lack of knowledge as far as whose behind the project. And even the potential it seems to have isn't amazing, it's equal to something like a re-telling of "Who The F*@$ Is Jackson Pollack?". Not going to have high expectations, but i definately have high hopes.

Zach on Nov 17, 2008


Get Nathan Fillon for Weibe. I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along today, and thought 'gee, that guy looks like Weibe.' I didn't even know that a King of Kong remake was being planned, so it can't just be coincidence that this all popped up in the same day.

M Ocean on Nov 18, 2008


You have got to be shitting me. Okay, what the hell is the film industry's problem. Not only are they remaking old movies, their remaking new ones that don't make sense being remade. Who is begging for a The Wizard-esque gamer comedy? Why does this tale need to be retold. Hollywood, I know you enjoy mining the creativity of your forebears and foisting it as your own, but why tarnish good movies that haven't yet had the chance to become classics (King of Kong, Let The Right One In)?

A.J. on Nov 18, 2008


How about Adrien Brody as Weibe, Jack Black as Mitchell, Naomi Watts as Weibe's wife, and King Kong as Donkey Kong? Get Peter Jackson to direct? "The King Kong of The King of Kong"

d on Nov 18, 2008


This is the dumbest idea in history. It was a brilliant doc, one of my favorite films of last year, but come frickin' on. I'm not even going to go into the whole "be original" thing, because it's overdone, but dear God, are you serious? It's such a dumb idea. Though, I do agree that if they *have* to do it, Fillion would make a great Weibe.

Josh on Nov 18, 2008


how could you not root for Steve Wiebe to take down Billy Mitchell...

grasshopper on Jun 10, 2009

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