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Monkey of the moment

“King Kong” is certainly no reticent gorilla to Oscar-winning “The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson. For the last six months, Jackson has been toiling in his native New Zealand on the big-budget remake of the 1933 classic adventure romance -- and the 1976 dud -- about the beauty who killed the beast. In between directing Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black and “Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis -- as the infamous ape -- Jackson has been keeping fans abreast of everything “Kong” on www.kongisking.net -- the website “where one giant ape rules supreme.”

The gossipy, video-driven site shows Jackson to be a true believer in the dictum “more is more.” The collection of news, message boards -- supposedly Jackson even reads and returns e-mails -- live chats and historical pieces on the vintage “Kong” -- is enough to satisfy most “Kong” geeks. And Jackson’s production diary, with more than 40 Quicktime entries, offers ongoing behind-the-scenes commentary.

But perhaps the biggest surprise on the website is the amazing change in Jackson’s appearance. With his long, curly hair, wire-rimmed glasses and chubby girth, Jackson resembled one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s squatty hobbits during the lengthy production of the three “Lord of the Rings” movies. These days, though, Jackson has turned into a bit of a stud. His hair is stylishly unruly and he’s shed not only his spectacles but an enormous amount of weight.


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