[06/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Largest Televised Motion Picture Preview in History on June 27

[via press release from NBC Universal Television Studio]



Potential Audience of 109 Million Will Get First Look at the Dramatic Adventure Directed by Peter Jackson

BURBANK/UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- June 17, 2005 -- NBC Universal will present an unprecedented motion picture preview "roadblock" as all nine of its networks simultaneously telecast the world premiere of the first trailer for Universal Pictures' King Kong, the dramatic adventure helmed by Oscar�-winning director Peter Jackson, on Monday, June 27, from 8:59:30-9:02 PM ET.

As part of the ambitious, multi-pronged effort, the two-minute, 30-second teaser trailer will be broadcast at the same time on NBC, SCI FI, USA Network, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Mun2 and Universal HD. The trailer will be offered in high-definition on NBC and Universal HD. The estimated potential audience of the combined networks would exceed 109 million viewers, surpassing the total distribution of any previous promotional broadcast.

The announcement was made today by Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Universal Television Group, and Stacey Snider, Chairman, Universal Pictures.

"This exciting and expansive campaign will allow us to stretch and realize the full promise of NBC Universal's formidable assets," said Zucker. "This concerted push will create a buzz across the spectrum of our networks that will build through King Kong's much-anticipated release."

"King Kong, as it's being interpreted by Peter Jackson, is the work of a master storyteller operating at the full height of his creative powers," commented Snider. "We are immensely excited to allow the world its first glimpse of this extraordinary film and its remarkable central character with an event that is as ambitious and momentous as King Kong deserves. This roadblock demonstrates just how coordinated and unified a company NBC Universal has become in just over a year, and we are proud of our shared commitment to accomplishing something of this magnitude."

The specific schedule for the airing of the teaser trailer on each of the NBC networks is as follows:

NBC -immediately following "Fear Factor"

USA Network -immediately following "Law & Order: SVU

SCI FI Channel - immediately following "Stargate-SG1"

Bravo -immediately following "West Wing"

Universal HD - immediately following "Airport '77"

MSNBC - immediately following "Countdown with Keith Olberman"

CNBC - immediately following "Cover to Cover"

Telemundo - immediately following "La Mujer en el Espejo"

Mun2 - teaser trailer will premiere during the two-hour block of "The Roof."

King Kong, which tells the classic tale of the gigantic ape captured on a remote island and brought to 1930s Manhattan where he meets his tragic fate, stars Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell and Adrien Brody and will open in theaters worldwide on December 14, 2005.

Other components of the cross-promotional campaign include providing NBC's and Telemundo's owned-and-operated and affiliated stations with the full teaser trailer along with exclusive behind-the-scenes material to run soon after the world broadcast premiere. The teaser trailer will also air on the Tuesday, June 28th edition ofAccess Hollywood.

The teaser trailer for King Kong will make its on-screen debut in movie theaters worldwide on Wednesday, June 29th.

Also on Monday, June 27, in concert with the NBC Universal roadblock, the King Kong teaser trailer will debut online, on multimedia-enabled personal wireless communication devices and at several high profile out-of-home locations.

Volkswagen, the exclusive automotive promotional partner of King Kong, has been granted the exclusive online debut window for the teaser trailer. Beginning at 8:44 PM ET (15 minutes prior to the NBC Universal primetime roadblock), the teaser trailer may be viewed exclusively on the Volkswagen website (www.volkswagen.com), encoded in Apple's QuickTime technology, which offers the highest quality visual image available online. This Volkswagen online exclusive will continue for 48 hours.

Also at this time, Universal Pictures' official movie site for King Kong will go live at www.kingkongmovie.com Included on the site will be the official logo for the film, cast and filmmaker biographies and downloadable photos. This online destination for the film will expand over time and enable fans to immerse themselves in the rich history of the Kong character in our culture, and to explore the world Peter Jackson has created for his new film version of the classic adventure.

In addition, NBC Mobile (Sprint TV, Channel 1), on the Sprint PCS network, will be featuring the King Kong trailer with additional behind the scenes material on the film.

For those out of home on Monday evening when the NBC Universal roadblock occurs, the King Kong teaser trailer can be viewed on Jumbotron screens in New York's Times Square, in Orlando, Florida at Universal Orlando's CityWalk, and in Universal City, California at Universal Studios Hollywood's CityWalk.

The roadblock and its many extensions will be extensively promoted across all NBC Universal and promotional partner platforms.

Triple Academy Award� winner Peter Jackson (the Lord of the Rings trilogy) recently completed principal photography in New Zealand on the dramatic adventure King Kong, bringing his sweeping cinematic vision to the iconic story of the gigantic ape captured in the wild and brought to civilization where he meets his tragic fate. Jackson assumes directing, producing and co-screenwriting duties and surrounds himself with a list of superlative filmmaking and acting talents. Jackson re-teams with longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, co-writing the screenplay with three-time Oscar� winning partner Walsh and their The Lord of the Rings co-writer, Academy Award� winner Boyens. Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh and Jackson produce the film under their WingNut Films banner.

Starring in the Universal Pictures release is a roster of some of Hollywood's most versatile and accomplished actors, including Academy Award� nominee Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Jack Black (School of Rock) and Academy Award� winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist).

Naomi Watts portrays Ann Darrow, an actress from the world of vaudeville who finds herself out of a job in Depression-era New York. Her luck changes when she meets Carl Denham, played by Jack Black. Denham is an entrepreneur, raconteur, adventurer and filmmaker who is struggling to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. Bold, ebullient and charismatic, Denham has a natural sense of showmanship and an appetite for greatness, which ultimately leads to catastrophe. Adrien Brody steps into the role of Jack Driscoll, a New York playwright, who becomes an unlikely hero in a romantic adventure story which will test his physical courage and his heart.

Andy Serkis (who performed the role of the CGI character Gollum in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) provided both on-set performance reference and motion capture performance for the title character of King Kong. Serkis also appears onscreen playing Lumpy the cook, in service aboard the tramp steamer Venture, bound for Skull Island, under the command of Captain Englehorn, played by Thomas Kretschmann (U-571). Colin Hanks (Orange County) portrays a production assistant to filmmaker Carl Denham and Kyle Chandler (television's Early Edition) takes on the role of Bruce Baxter, a 1930's movie star cast opposite Ann Darrow in the film Denham is shooting.

Actors Evan Parke (Planet of the Apes), Lobo Chan and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) also come onboard King Kong as members of the Venture Crew, with Parke as Hayes, the first mate, a hardened ex-infantryman from WWI; Bell as the ship's lookout, Jimmy, a delinquent with a knack for getting into trouble; and Chan rounding out the crew as Choy, the ever-optimistic deckhand.

Jackson's creative team on King Kong includes director of photography Andrew Lesnie (cinematographer for the Rings trilogy and Oscar� winner for The Fellowship of the Ring); editor Jamie Selkirk (Oscar� winner, The Return of the King); production designer Grant Major (Oscar� nominee for all three Rings and winner for The Return of the King); costumer Terry Ryan (The Hard Word, Paradise Road); and unit production manager Anne Bruning, who last worked in New Zealand on The Last Samurai.

Visual effects are again accomplished by New Zealand-based companies Weta Digital, under the direction of Oscar� winner Joe Letteri and Weta Workshop, under the direction of Oscar� winner Richard Taylor. Visual effects and miniatures will supplement practical locations in creating the primordial jungles of Skull Island and the bustling metropolis of '30s-period Manhattan.

Universal Pictures Presents A Wingnut Films Production: King Kong, starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell and Adrien Brody. The music is by Howard Shore. The film editor is Jamie Selkirk. The production designer is Grant Major. The director of photography is Andrew Lesnie, ACS. The film is produced by Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson. The screenplay is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson. King Kong is directed by Peter Jackson. �2005 Universal Studios. www.kingkongmovie.com

  [june 2005]  


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