Jackson completing casting of King Kong

Aug. 13, 2004 at 8:16 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Director Peter Jackson is finishing the casting of King Kong, which is scheduled to begin shooting in New Zealand in a few weeks.

The Dominion Post reports that Lobo Chan, a British opera singer and actor, is the latest addition to a cast that already includes Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Andy Serkis. Chan has done television acting in Britain as well as singing in Turandot and The Marriage of Figaro.

Jackson, winner of the best director Oscar this year, has a budget of NZ$200 million or about $133 million US to make the third reincarnation of the story of a giant ape captured and brought to New York.

About 1,000 people have also applied to be extras, most of them New Zealanders. But the newspaper reports that a number of European film professionals have also sought extra work on the movie.

Jackson's crew includes many of those who worked on Lord of the Rings, including his partner, Fran Walsh, and co-producer and screenwriter Philippa Boyens. The final installment, The Return of the King, swept the Oscars this year, winning in every category in which it was nominated.

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