King Kong will roar again at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2010. The previous animatronic Bob Gurr creation was lost to the highly publicized studio backlot fire on June 1, 2008. Along with Kong, other movie artifacts lost were the clock tower seen in the “Back to the Future”, the video vaults, and at least one sound stage.
The previous iteration of King Kong was 30 feet tall. Though nothing is known about the exact dimensions of the new Kong himself, some details have been released about what the King Kong section of the tour will be like. According to Anna Gorman of the LA Times, she reports in her article (found here:) that the rebuilt section of the tour will include digital upgrades, including a 3D encounter with a swarm of bats and witnessing a 3D fight between King Kong and a dinosaur. The new set will be built to match Peter Jackson’s 2005 film. (The rumor is that the set will be that of Skull Island, from which set pieces are already on display.)
But those aren’t the only changes to the famous Universal Studios tram tour. The trams will also be equipped with high-def flat screen televisions that will play corresponding video along with the sites of the tour. Some of the content? Behind-the-scenes type commentary like the kind that you might find on your DVDs. This leads one to wonder, will we be watching an Alfred Hitchcock interview on the Psycho section of the tour?
If you’re not familiar with the Universal Studios “Studio Tour”, you may want to check Hulu.com for the premiere episode of, “The Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien. In that episode, Conan took over tour guide duty for one of his signature on location style segments. The result was comedy gold.
So what else can you expect on the tour if you won’t be able to make it to see the new King Kong? Thankfully, the majority of the tour stayed intact despite the fire. So you’ll still enjoy some of the set from Steven Spielberg’s, “War of the Worlds”, Wisteria Lane from ABC’s, “Desperate Housewives”, the Bates Hotel, a live special effects sequence staged from, “Fast and the Furious”, and of course the iconic encounter with the great white shark from, “Jaws”.
The Studio Tour is included with the price of admission and is currently up and running. Exact dates for the completion of the new King Kong segment of the tour have not been released. To stay up to date on the changes and when you can expect them to be completed, check http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com