The King of Kong, the famous 2007 documentary about the struggle between pompous Billy Mitchell and underdog Steve Wiebe over who could possess the world record for highest score on Donkey Kong, is now being adapted into a musical. Seth Gordon (who directed King of Kong and also just brought us the badly-reviewed Baywatch movie) is working on the play.
“There’s such a melodrama, and so many of the characters are actually musicians, and the music of the games, too, is a thing,” says Gordon. He says the finished product will boast fifteen musical numbers including “Museum of Your Heart,” written by Walter Day, the man who founded the official arcade record-keeping outfit Twin Galaxies. Day also performed the song for the King of Kong film.
A few months back, the perfect opening scene for a King of Kong musical popped into my head. I’m just going to write it down now, in the event that the real musical ends up using the exact same scene. Then I can sue.
Curtain opens to blackness. Overhead spotlight turns on and reveals Billy Mitchell in his bathrobe standing next to a Donkey Kong machine. A familiar 80’s pop melody starts playing.
MITCHELL (singing): There’s a little white spot on the screen todaaaay
It’s the same high score as yesterdaaaay
Another spotlight turns on to reveal Steve Wiebe standing outside of Mitchell’s house, next to his living room window. It’s raining outside and Wiebe is shivering. He raises his fist and continues the song from Mitchell dramatically.
WIEBE: As I’m standing out here in the pouring rain
I declare both our lives will never be the same
You think you’ve got the high score, well sir, I’ll prove you wrong
Because it’s MY DESTINY to be the KING OF KOOOONG!
They must have this same scene in mind, because otherwise, why do it?
It’s worth noting that neither Mitchell nor Wiebe still hold the worldwide Donkey Kong high score record. A man named Wes Copeland busted both their scores one year ago with 1,218,000, and it’s believed (thanks to this game having a kill screen) that it’s just barely possible to get any higher than that, if at all.