Sources in the film music industry have indicated to SoundtrackNet that Howard Shore's score to Peter Jackson's King Kong has been dropped. Hired to replace him is composer James Newton Howard. Due out on December 14, the film requires over two hours of music, which must now be written over the next few weeks.

There is no indication currently as to why Shore's score has been replaced, and all indications are that most - if not all - of the score has already been recorded in New Zealand. The replacement score will be recorded in Los Angeles. More details to come as we get them.

UPDATE: UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/—Universal Pictures confirmed today that James Newton Howard will compose the original score for the dramatic adventure "King Kong," which is directed by triple Academy Award(R) winner Peter Jackson. Mr. Howard replaces Howard Shore, who is leaving the project.

Peter Jackson made the following statement: "I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurable contributions to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realize that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of 'King Kong.' Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film. I'm looking forward to working with James Newton Howard, a composer whose work I've long admired, and I thank Howard Shore, whose talent is surpassed only by his graciousness."

"King Kong" will be released December 14, 2005.