Citing creative differenceswith Peter Jackson, composer Howard Shore has "amicably" left the production ofKing Kong two months before itsNorth American release.

Shore will be replaced byJames Newton Howard, the multi-Academy Award nominee whose credits include BatmanBegins, The Sixth Sense and RunawayBride.

"I have greatly enjoyed mycollaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurablecontributions to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy," Jackson said in a statement.

"During the last few weeks,Howard and I came to realise that we had differing creative aspirations for thescore of King Kong. Rather thanwaste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, wedecided amicably to let another composer score the film.

"I'm looking forward toworking with James Newton Howard, a composer whose work I've long admired, andI thank Howard Shore, whose talent is surpassed only by his graciousness."

Universal is due to open KingKong on Dec 14.