Kong: An Original Screenplay by Edgar Wallace
Hardcover – Electric Dreamhouse – Mar 2023 – 254 pages
90 YEARS AGO, the classic Hollywood monster movie King Kong was released. What most people do not realise is that much of the film was the brainchild of best-selling British mystery writer Edgar Wallace (1875–1932). Known as the “King of Thrillers”, Wallace was an incredibly prolific and influential writer who moved to California in the early 1930s, where he was employed at RKO Radio Pictures. He was working on the initial drafts of Kong when he died unexpectedly, at the age of fifty-six, just two months into pre-production.
For decades, Wallace’s contribution to the film has been consistently down-played. Now, with the publication of Kong: An Original Screenplay, we can finally see how Wallace’s substantial draft script prefigures much of the narrative structure and more important themes found in the final film. It also depicts many of the production’s key scenes, while also including several epic sequences that were never used.
With an historical Introduction by multiple award-winning editor Stephen Jones, Wallace’s personal copy of his original draft script with his own corrections and interpolations, a boys’ story-paper adaptation of the film, preliminary production stills and art-work, and a colour portfolio of King Kong posters from around the world, Kong: An Original Screenplay finally gives Edgar Wallace the credit he deserves as the “Man Who Created Kong”!
With illustrations by Bryon L. Crabbe, Glenn Cravath, Mario Larrinaga, Earnest Smythe, Willis H. O’Brien and Bob Eggleton