King Kong: All Movies in Order


When it comes to movie monsters, King Kong is certainly one of cinema’s most iconic and everlasting. While Dracula and Frankenstein beat him to the big screen, King Kong is unique in that he is a wholly cinematic creation. He originates in film, with no prior source material. His status as a giant monster created an entire subgenre of movies that would later inspire other cinematic creatures like Godzilla and Gamera.


Updated December 14, 2023: In honor of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, this list has been updated with more details on that film as well as the other entries in the franchise, including where you can watch them.

As a character and film franchise, King Kong has become one of the most recognizable names in entertainment history. Since his debut in 1933, the giant gorilla has appeared in a number of films, from big-budget remakes to cheap animated cash-ins to even crossovers with Godzilla. Here is every movie in the King Kong franchise. You may be surprised to see just how many films this famous gorilla has been in.


King Kong Movies In Chronological Order

Name of Film

Release Date

King Kong

March 2, 1933

Son of Kong

December 22, 1933

The King Kong That Appeared in Edo

March 31, 1938

King Kong vs. Godzilla

August 11, 1962

King Kong Escapes

July 22, 1967

King Kong

December 17, 1976

King Kong Lives

December 19, 1986

The Mighty Kong

June 16, 1998

Kong: King of Atlantis

November 22, 2005

King Kong

December 14, 2005

Kong: Return to the Jungle

November 14, 2006

Kong: Skull Island

March 10, 2017

Godzilla vs. Kong

March 24, 2021

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

April 12, 2024

King Kong (1933)

To kick things off, 1933 was the year King Kong made its way to the big screen. The debut of this creature in King Kong is just as iconic as its now-stellar reputation in the film industry. In this movie, a film crew ends up on a mysterious island, later revealed to be Skull Island, and gets captured by its native population. The lone woman of the crew, Anne Darrow (Fay Wray), is subsequently offered as a sacrifice to the leviathan King Kong: a monstrous gorilla. Kong is eventually captured and brought into captivity after numerous battles with the local fauna. Unfortunately, Kong breaks free from his containment and wreaks havoc on New York City.

King Kong is one of the best giant monster movies of all time. It is known for using special effects like stop-motion animation, matte painting, rear projection, and miniatures to convey the scale and size of the titular creature. Yet the simple premise of a lonely creature pulled tragically from his home and who is enamored by beauty is a timeless story that has stood the test of time. King Kong was an early major accomplishment for film on a technical level, but also for the fact that it was an original idea, showing how exciting this new medium of entertainment could be. Stream King Kong (1933) on Max.

Son of Kong (1933)

The Son of Kong

Release Date
December 22, 1933

Director
Ernest B. Schoedsack

Cast
Robert Armstrong , Helen Mack , Frank Reicher , John Marston , Victor Wong , Ed Brady

Rating
Unrated

Son of Kong is a sequel to the first King Kong film, also produced by RKO Pictures, and was impressively released within the same year as the original. This was due in part to the incredible success of the first film, both critically and commercially. When Kong was made into a spectacle when brought into the city, the mind behind it all is now facing the consequences of his actions. On the return to Kong’s home, Skull Island, the team comes across another giant ape that they believe to be the Son of Kong.

The sequel also features the Son of Kong defending Hilda Peterson (Helen Mack) against dangerous dinosaurs, focusing more on the unlikely friendship between the woman and the giant animal. This relationship would eventually be integral to the franchise as a whole, which was a big part of what made it so popular. Rent Son of Kong (1933) on Apple TV.

The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (1938)

The King Kong That Appeared in Edo (1938) Cast
Zenshō Cinema

The Japanese film industry also jumped on the King Kong train, creating a two-part silent film about the giant ape. The King Kong That Appeared in Edo came out in 1938, five years after King Kong was first featured in a film.

However, if you are interested in checking this one out, good luck; this film is considered a lost film. It’s nigh on impossible to find still images, let alone scraps of footage, from the original print. The King Kong That Appeared in Edo is not available on streaming.

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King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong vs. Godzilla

Release Date
August 11, 1962

Director
Ishirô Honda

Cast
Tadao Takashima , Kenji Sahara , Yû Fujiki , Ichirô Arishima , Jun Tazaki , Akihiko Hirata

Rating
NR

This is what started it all. In order to make sure that the movie magic surrounding these monster movies does not die, stories cannot always be repeated or recreated. So, it is only fitting to have one of the best crossovers in movie history and pin them against each other. King Kong vs Godzilla has all the action and sci-fi appeal you could want. In this exciting crossover film, Godzilla is awoken by an American submarine and clashes with King Kong, who was captured for pharmaceutical purposes. The two eventually duke it out on beautiful Mount Fuji.

The incredible fight scenes between Kong and Godzilla are, at the very least, charming as much as they are entertaining. This film both saved the Godzilla franchise but also revitalized Kong, forever linking these two cinematic titans together. Audiences waited over fifty years for a rematch between the two, but it was worth the wait. King Kong vs Godzilla is not available on streaming.

King Kong Escapes (1967)

Another King Kong movie? Yes, but this time, add robots! In King Kong Escapes, society has tried to utilize Kong as a tool, developing a robot copy of the giant ape to dig out valuable minerals from the Earth. However, since they are not successful and the robot is not performing up to standards, they seek to capture the real King Kong. If you’ve read the title, you can likely deduce what will happen next.

The robot Kong, named Mechani-Kong, appears to be owned by Toho. Audiences are hoping for this metal ape to show up in a future installment of the MonsterVerse. King Kong Escapes is not available on streaming.

King Kong (1976)

The 1976 movie King Kong is a retelling of the original film from 1933. In this film, Dawn, played by Jessica Lange, is rescued from a shipwreck only to be taken by natives on a mysterious island to be sacrificed to Kong. When they are unsuccessful, Dawn is rescued, and the giant ape is taken back to New York City to be shown off as an exhibit.

The 1976 film was a big event picture, marketed and hyped up due to the legendary status of the original film and the idea of updating it with then modern special effects. Its cast reflected this, with Jeff Bridges and Charles Grodin starring alongside Lange in her first-ever film role. It would later go on to win an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, though the film was met with controversy over its existence as a remake. Stream King Kong (1976) on Prime Video.

Queen Kong (1976)

Queen Kong in Queen Kong (1976)
Constantin Film

In the same year as the previous entry in this list, Queen Kong was released. The British-German film parodies the King Kong franchise, following an all-female film crew on an island where they encounter Queen Kong, who falls in love with the male lead. Unfortunately, due to its parodic nature, it caught some legal trouble from the copyright holders of King Kong at the time. After a limited release in Germany and Italy, it was subsequently banned. Stream Queen Kong on Tubi.

King Kong Lives (1986)

Peter Elliott as King Kong in King Kong Lives
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

Now, we are hitting a new age of King Kong films. In King Kong Lives, the mighty Kong is presumably dead. However, with the curative powers of modern medicine, he is revived. In this second chance at life, Kong decides to dip his foot into family life, befriending a female Kong whose blood transfusions allowed him to live. A notable fact about the movie is it stars Linda Hamilton, hot off of playing Sarah Conner in The Terminator two years prior, along with Brian Kerwin, Josh Ashton, and Peter Michael Goetz.

The film was the long-awaited sequel to the 1976 remake, but by the time the movie hit, audiences weren’t too receptive to it, and the movie was a box office flop. It was subsequently panned by critics, with few if any modern reappraisals highlighting its positives. Stream King Kong Lives on The Roku Channel.

The Mighty Kong (1998)

So far, the King Kong movies have all been live-action. However, what is an iconic movie monster without a cheap direct-to-video animated film? The Mighty Kong is an animated direct-to-video musical that retells the original story of King Kong.

The movie is largely forgotten about, but it does have some features worth noting. The voice actress of Disney’s Ariel, Jodi Benson, played the role of Anne Darrow. Dudley Moore, in the final role before his death, played Carl Denham. It also features songs written by the Sherman Brothers, who worked on Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book. Stream The Mighty Kong on Freevee.

Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)

In the 2000s, an animated series simply titled Kong: The Animated Series aired. The series ended after two seasons and 40 episodes in 2001. In an attempt to cash in on the 2005 film, the creators made a direct-to-video animated continuation titled Kong: King of Atlantis. As the title implies, the film centers on Kong, along with a band of resourceful humans, taking on a group of reptilian monsters in an attempt to save the titular island from turmoil. Stream Kong: King of Atlantis on Tubi.

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King Kong (2005)

King Kong poster

King Kong

Release Date
December 12, 2005

Rating
PG-13

In 2005, Peter Jackson directed King Kong. This big-budget, thrilling adventure movie retells the original King Kong storyline in a way that is entirely new and refreshing. The original 1933 King Kong was Peter Jackson’s favorite movie growing up, and he previously attempted a reboot in 1996. That project fell through due to concerns about the release of 1998’s Godzilla and Mighty Joe Young, and thankfully, they waited until after The Lord of the Rings for technology to catch up to Jackson’s vision.

From the star-studded cast that includes Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Kyle Chandler, and Andy Serkis, to the groundbreaking CGI for its time, this movie breathes a whole new life into this iconic story. The film was highly praised and was among the top five-grossing movies worldwide in the year of its release. Stream King Kong (2005) on Peacock.

Kong: Return to the Jungle (2006)

Scott McNeill as King Kong in Kong: Return to the Jungle
BKN International

Kong: Return to the Jungle is both a sequel to Kong: King of Atlantis but also a standalone sequel. This one uses 3D computer animation as opposed to its predecessor. Unfortunately, for all intents and purposes, this film simply isn’t that great. Whether you chalk it up to stilted animation or bizarre expository dialogue, Kong: Return to the Jungle would ultimately be seen as a cheap cash grab to capitalize on the fame of King Kong. It would be the last major King Kong film for over a decade. Stream Kong: Return to the Jungle on Tubi.

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

After a long drought, King Kong came roaring back to the big screen in a big way. In 2017, Kong: Skull Island came out starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and John Goodman. This action-packed film follows a group of soldiers and explorers visiting the mysterious and uncharted Skull Island during the Vietnam War in 1973.

The movie was both a modern reboot of the Kong franchise, but also the first step in making Kong part of a larger universe. While originally developed at Universal Pictures, Legendary Pictures brought the concept over to Warner Bros. to cross it over with their Godzilla franchise in what they planned to be their big crossover event: Godzilla vs. Kong. The groundwork was laid in the end credits of Kong: Skull Island and brief glimpses of Kong can be seen throughout Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Some would even consider Kong: Skull Island to be the best King Kong movie. Rent Kong: Skull Island on Apple TV.

Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021)

Godzilla Vs King Kong

Godzilla Vs King Kong

The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

Release Date
March 31, 2021

Rating
PG-13

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Read Our Review

In 2021, the cinema world’s favorite monsters face off again for an epic battle in Godzilla Vs. Kong. This epic monster film stars Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, Alexander Skarsgård, and Brian Tyree Henry. It focuses on a plot that sees Kong being used as a guide for humanity into the Hollow Earth, while Godzilla poses a massive threat due to humanity’s attempt to make monsters.

While the MonsterVerse seemed to be on its way out following the disappointing box office of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla Vs. Kong was just what the franchises needed. The boost of having the two titans face off captivated audiences. Even though it was released in both theaters and Max on the same date due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaving many theaters closed, the movie still proved to be a hit. Stream Godzilla Vs. Kong on Netflix and Max.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

The King Kong franchise will grace the screen once again with another Godzilla crossover through director Adam Wingard’s lens. The movie Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire will bring the two monster icons together once more, not only having them face off with each other, but also investigating their origins on Earth. Unbeknownst to them, their fates have been tied to humanity for millennia, potentially forcing an unprecedented team-up for the colossal kaiju. Returning stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kaylee Hottle are attached to the cast. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is coming to theaters on April 12, 2024.

If you want an exciting look at what Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has to offer, be sure to check out the trailer below.



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