In 1933, King Kong swung its way into cinemas. The action-adventure/monster movie, starring Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong, told the story of a giant ape who is captured on his home island and brought to New York City… with disastrous consequences.
Upon release, King Kong was a hit with audiences and due to the movie’s popularity, it was followed by sequels, crossovers, animated adventures and multiple reboots. But how many King Kong movies are there?
For all the details and more, keep reading.
The King Kong movies in order
To date, there are 12 entries in the King Kong movie series. The films include:
- King Kong (1933)
- Son of Kong (1933)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
- King Kong Escapes (1967)
- King Kong (1976)
- King Kong Lives (1986)
- The Mighty Kong (1998)
- Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)
- King Kong (2005)
- Kong: Return to the Jungle (2006)
- Kong: Skull Island (2017)
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
In addition to the movies listed above, the Kong series also inspired two Japanese films which feature a version of the character, but which are now considered lost to time.
- Wasei Kingu Kongu (1933) – A silent comedy
- The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (1938) – A two-part silent period drama
Hang on a minute… do the King Kong movies have anything to do with the Mighty Joe Young movies?
While the original 1949 Mighty Joe Young movie was produced by the same studio and team behind King Kong, neither Mighty Joe Young or its 1998 remake, have anything to do with King Kong. Simply chalk the Mighty Joe Young movies up to being ‘inspired’ by Kong.
In fact, the King Kong series has inspired multiple parodies and imitations over the years, including Konga (1961), Queen Kong (1976), and The Mighty Peking Man (1977), amongst others.
Are all of the 12 King Kong movies part of the same series?
The King Kong movies largely exist in various different continuities, with few movies being connected. The series is broken down as follows:
- King Kong (1933) and Son of Kong (1933) – The original movie and its sequel
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) – A crossover with the original Japanese Godzilla franchise
- King Kong Escapes (1967) – A live-action movie, loosely based on the 1966 anime series, The King Kong Show
- King Kong (1976) and King Kong Lives (1986) – A remake of the 1933 movie, followed by a sequel
- The Mighty Kong (1998) – An animated musical remake of the 1933 movie
- Kong: King of Atlantis (2005) and Kong: Return to the Jungle (2006) – Two animated movies which tie into the 2005 show, Kong: The Animated Series
- King Kong (2005) – Another remake of the 1933 movie
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) – Two entries in the Kong/Godzilla MonsterVerse
Who are the directors of the King Kong movies?
Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack directed King Kong 1933, while Ernest B. Schoedsack directed Son of Kong. Ishirō Honda and Thomas Montgomery directed King Kong vs. Godzilla, while Ishirō Honda directed King Kong Escapes.
John Guillermin directed King Kong 1976 and King Kong Lives, Art Scott directed The Mighty Kong, and Patrick Archibald directed Kong: King of Atlantis.
Peter Jackson directed King Kong 2005, Stuart Evans directed Kong: Return to the Jungle, Jordan Voht-Roberts directed Kong: Skull Island, and Adam Wingard directed Godzilla vs. Kong.
And finally, who are the cast of the King Kong movies?
Notable actors in the King Kong movie series include Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, Linda Hamilton, Andy Serkis, Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Jamie Bell, Adrien Brody, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Alexander Skarsgård, Milly Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, and Rebecca Hall.
I hope this information about the King Kong series has proved useful. Should you wish to dive into more monstrous movie posts, please check out the recommended reads below.
- Review: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
- 15 best monster movies to watch
- Revisiting the Godzilla: King of the Monsters posters