'King Kong'

Okay, we already knew from the Ring movies that Naomi Watts (left) could scream, but day-um! The first King Kong trailer, which debuted Monday night on NBC’s broadcast networks and now lives on Volkswagen’s website, has us pounding our chests already. The highlights:1. Ann Darrow (Watts) screams for the camera; in the distance, we hear for the first time an unseen Kong returning the favor with a monkey love call. Chills.

2. The views of 1930s Manhattan are impressive for a set created on a New Zealand soundstage (or in some F/X artist’s computer).

3. Jack Black seems surprisingly credible playing it straight.

4. Kong snatches Ann from a dinosaur’s jaws — nice move.

5. That final image, where we finally get a good look at the great ape’s face, with its lopsided, orthodontically challenged scowl, one lonely fang jutting up from the corner of his clenched jaw. How can you not love a mug like that?

I’m ready to line up for popcorn now. Instead, now we have to wait until December 14. In the meantime, check out a gallery of movie stills on the newly launched King Kong website and additional behind-the-scenes photos and set-design concept art at VW’s site.

So, what did you think?

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