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    King Kong Rare Early Developmental Script, Titled The Eighth Wonder (RKO Pictures, 1932). Tan covers, measuring approximately 8 ½" x 11 ¼", front reading "The Eighth Wonder / by / Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper / Dialogue and Adaptation / by / James Ashmore Creelman / Copied by RKO Stenographic Dept. / March 9, 1932". Twice-stamped "Property of / RKO Studios, Inc. / Return to Scenario Dept. Files", with "470" stamped in the upper-right front corner. 105 carbon pages typed only on the rectos. Includes black archival clamshell book box with the title and "1932" gold-embossed on the spine. In Very Good Plus condition. Covers exhibit toning, minor handling wear, small areas of chipping loss at three corners, creasing at the left side from use, and a two-inch separation at the crease. Inner pages exhibit minor toning and wear, appropriate for the age of the piece.

    Offered here is the second of three successive drafts of developmental manuscripts that would become the immortal creature feature King Kong. Titled The Eighth Wonder, it's a revision of Wallace's scenario by screenwriter James Ashmore Creelman, who was brought on by Marian C. Cooper from another film he was working on, The Most Dangerous Game. In it, you'll find big-game hunter Danby Denham is now simply Denham, brutish film director. Shirley Redman is now Ann Darrow, and her lover in the first draft, a convict named John, has become first mate Jack Driscoll. This is also the draft in which the "beauty and the beast" theme was introduced, and the Kong in New York sequence is lengthened, reading more like the scene we all know.

    After Creelman was forced to temporarily step away from the project due to his work on The Most Dangerous Game, the script saw further revisions by Horace McCoy, who added a few of the more fanciful and exotic elements, like the terrifying island natives, sacrificial maidens, and the gigantic wall used to keep Kong at bay. When Creelman returned to the project, he despised the new fantastic elements (though a film with lumbering dinosaurs and a giant ape is already quite fantastic). Thankfully, Cooper stood firm they remain in the script.

    This is the first of its kind we've ever seen. There well may be other copies out there, but not one Heritage has come across. The sheer rarity of these pieces aside, seeing the evolution of one of the greatest films of all time through the progression of these screenplays is to truly witness the magic of movies.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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