has landed work on both the KING KONG remake and THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE feature. Head of Weta Peter Jackson has inked a deal with Universal to bring his version of the giant ape tale to the screen, reported DAILY VARIETY. The deal is worth $20 million and 20% of the gross to Jackson for his writing and directing duties, which he will split with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens who also helped the Oscar-nominated director pen the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Welsh is set to produce the KONG redux. The film will shoot in New Zealand and should hit theaters in Christmas 2005.
In addition, YAHOO! MOVIES reports that Weta has landed visual effects duties on Walden Medias feature rendition of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. The film is being brought to the screen by SHREK co-director Andrew Adamson. The lion in question, King Atlan, will be a live animal digitally altered to make it speak. The story follows four children who discover a gateway to the fantasy land of Narnia in the back of a wardrobe closet.