The Legend of King Kong
The Legend of King Kong Ad
Production Information
Planned for


Replaced by

King Kong (1976)
King Kong (2005)


Gamera vs. Garasharp



The Legend of King Kong is an unmade 1976 remake of King Kong that was to be produced by Universal Pictures.


In 1975, Dino De Laurentiis and Paramount Pictures signed a deal with RKO Pictures to produce a remake of the original 1933 King Kong with a tentative release date of 1976. When Universal Pictures learned about this, they claimed that they had a previous oral agreement with RKO to produce their own remake, which RKO denied. Universal proceeded to sue both Paramount and RKO for the rights to King Kong, while at the same time beginning production on their own King Kong remake. Universal hoped that by producing their Kong film quickly, it would pressure Paramount and De Laurentiis to give up production on their film. Universal announced the start of filming for The Legend of King Kong for January 5, 1976, with a targeted release date of that fall.

Universal hired Academy Award-winning screenwriter Bo Goldman to write the screenplay for the film, and hired the relatively unknown but acclaimed Joseph Sargent to direct. Special effects artist Jim Danforth offered to produce the effects for the film using stop-motion animation like in the original film, but Universal worried that it would be far too expensive and planned to have Kong be portrayed by a man in a suit, like he was in King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes. They also intended to very closely follow the 1933 film, using the same characters, creatures, and general plot of the original film, even keeping it set in 1933.

Eventually, a federal judge ruled that Paramount did in fact have the rights to produce a remake of King Kong, and that RKO had exclusive rights to the 1933 film. However, the judge also ruled that the character rights to Kong belonged to the estate of Merian C. Cooper, and they were subsequently transferred to his son Richard, who then sold them to Universal. Universal abandoned its plans for The Legend of King Kong, and Paramount went ahead and produced King Kong. After Paramount and De Laurentiis' rights to King Kong expired, Universal revived the project and prepared to release a new remake in the late 1990's, though the releases and subsequent poor receptions of Mighty Joe Young and GODZILLA in 1998 convinced them to postpone the project. Universal hired acclaimed director Peter Jackson to produce the film in the early 2000's using the Legend script. Jackson discarded and rewrote the script, then directed King Kong in 2005.



  • Universal hoped their quick production of The Legend of King Kong would make De Laurentiis hesitant to film King Kong, but it instead convinced him to complete casting and begin filming for the film months earlier. Stuntman Rick Baker, who designed and portrayed Kong in Paramount's film, later said he regretted not having enough time to design the King Kong suit due to the accelerated production on the film.

External Links

Godzilla films
Showa era GodzillaGodzilla Raids AgainKing Kong vs. GodzillaMothra vs. GodzillaGhidorah, the Three-Headed MonsterInvasion of Astro-MonsterEbirah, Horror of the DeepSon of GodzillaDestroy All MonstersAll Monsters AttackGodzilla vs. HedorahGodzilla vs. GiganGodzilla vs. MegalonGodzilla vs. MechagodzillaTerror of Mechagodzilla
Heisei era The Return of GodzillaGodzilla vs. BiollanteGodzilla vs. King GhidorahGodzilla vs. MothraGodzilla vs. Mechagodzilla IIGodzilla vs. SpaceGodzillaGodzilla vs. Destoroyah
Millennium series Godzilla 2000: MillenniumGodzilla vs. MegaguirusGodzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out AttackGodzilla Against MechagodzillaGodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.Godzilla: Final Wars
TriStar Pictures Godzilla (1998 film)
MonsterVerse GodzillaGodzilla: King of the MonstersGodzilla vs. Kong
Toho reboot series Shin GodzillaGodzilla: Planet of the MonstersGodzilla
King Kong films
RKO Pictures King Kong (1933)Son of Kong
Showa era King Kong vs. GodzillaKing Kong Escapes
Paramount Pictures King Kong (1976)King Kong Lives
Universal Pictures King Kong (2005)
MonsterVerse Kong: Skull IslandGodzilla vs. Kong
Mothra films
Showa era Mothra
Heisei era Rebirth of MothraRebirth of Mothra IIRebirth of Mothra III
Gamera films
Showa era Gamera (1965)Gamera vs. BarugonGamera vs. GyaosGamera vs. VirasGamera vs. GuironGamera vs. JigerGamera vs. ZigraGamera: Super Monster
Heisei era Gamera: Guardian of the UniverseGamera 2: Attack of LegionGamera 3: Revenge of IrisGamera: The Brave
Reboot film Gamera (Upcoming film)
Other films
Showa era Japanese King KongKing Kong Appears in EdoThe Beast From 20,000 FathomsRodanThe MysteriansVaranWarning from SpaceH-ManThe Birth of JapanGorathKujira GamiAtragonMatangoDogoraFrankenstein vs. BaragonWar of the GargantuasDaimajinReturn of DaimajinWrath of DaimajinThe X From Outer SpaceGappaSpace AmoebaDaigoro vs. GoliathSubmersion of JapanProphecies of NostradamusThe Last DinosaurThe War in SpaceBye-Bye JupiterPulgasari
Heisei era Yamato Takeru
Miscellaneous Go! GodmanThe Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit
Cancelled or scrapped films
Showa era Bride of GodzillaThe Volcano MonstersKing Kong vs. PrometheusFrankenstein vs. The Human VaporGiant Horde Beast NezuraFrankenstein vs. GodzillaGamera The Giant Monster vs. The Ice Men From Outer SpaceBatman vs. GodzillaOperation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. EbirahGiant Monster GigantGiant Squid Monster ArkitiusGiant Monster MomonraReigon: Devil of the SeabedGodzilla vs. Hedorah sequelJet Jaguar vs. MegalonAll Monsters Attack DirectiveGodzilla vs. RedmoonGodzilla vs. the Space Monsters: Earth Defense DirectiveThe Return of King GhidorahMechanical Monster GaruganGamera vs. GarasharpThe Legend of King KongDevil-MantaU.S.-Japan Collaboration: GodzillaA Space GodzillaGodzilla vs. Asuka Fortress
Heisei era The Return of Godzilla (original draft)Mothra vs. BaganUntitled animated Godzilla filmGodzilla vs. King KongGodzilla vs. Mechani-KongThe Return of King GhidorahGodzilla vs. GigamothGodzilla vs. MechaMothraGodzilla vs. BerserkGodzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Early draft)Gamera vs. PhoenixGodzilla vs. AstroGodzillaGodzilla vs. Ghost GodzillaGodzilla vs. Barubaroi
Millennium series Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out AttackGodzilla vs. Gamera
American films Godzilla: King of the Monsters 3-DGodzilla (1994 film)Godzilla RebornGodzilla 3D to the MAX
TriStar Pictures Godzilla 2
MonsterVerse Godzilla (June 2012 screenplay)