King Kong spin-offs help turn 1933 classic into movie franchise

When the original King Kong movie was released in 1933, it was quickly followed by Son of Kong in the same year. But nobody could have predicted that almost...

When the original King Kong movie was released in 1933, it was quickly followed by Son of Kong in the same year. But nobody could have predicted that almost 90 years later we would be looking back on 12 spin-off movies and a host of other innovations inspired by this classic film.

Recent spin-offs include the 2021 movie Godzilla vs. Kong, which was a sequel to the movies Kong: Skull Island from 2017 and Godzilla: King of the Monsters from 2019. King Kong is now a media franchise owned by Warner Bros, who are owners of the original 1933 film and Universal Pictures, who own the rights to the 2005 movie.

One reason for the enduring success of King Kong is that it encapsulates various genres in a single film. While it is an action-adventure movie, there is also a fantasy and horror element, complemented by the romance segment of the plot. The movie continues to inspire films and games to this day.

Released in 2005, the video game Peter Jackson’s King Kong provided gamers with the opportunity to play as both the sailor Jack Driscoll and King Kong. The movie series has also inspired various gorilla-themed slots such as Silverback Gold, which has tapped into the popularity of the film. For players interested in more Kong-themed casino games, here is a resource to know what games pay real money. With the franchise continuing to be popular, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kong-inspired more titles in this area.

Another example of the influence of the King Kong franchise is the King Kong Broadway musical based on the 1933 movie, featuring a 20-foot gorilla operated by puppeteers. Movie franchises such as King Kong can develop new iterations and innovations to keep fans coming back for more and attract new fan groups in areas such as theatre and gaming.



Since the original King Kong vs. Godzilla was released in 1962, a movie from the popular franchise has been released in every single decade. And the franchise has been able to continue achieving box office success with all-star casts. The 2005 version of King Kong, which won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, was directed by Peter Jackson and starred Andy Serkis as Kong. Alongside the actor were Naomi Watts as actress Ann Darrow, Jack Black as film director Carl Denham and Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll.



The same strategy was used for the movie Kong: Skull Island, which was released in 2017, and featured Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson, and grossed over $550,000,000 worldwide. This movie version featured Skullcrawlers, which were giant reptiles, as an extra plot element. Adding new characters is a useful device to keep the franchise fresh and is an important element in order to keep developing the franchise.

King Kong is a popular movie franchise and the longevity of the film can be explained through the marriage of various genres which come together to create a fantasy action-adventure with a hint of romance. The King Kong franchise is likely to go from strength to strength in the future as new plots are developed and exciting characters are added to the movies.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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