King (Kong) of the Movies: A Look at the Giant Ape's Trips to the Cinema Through the Years

·Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Entertainment

Forgotten island. Lost civilization. Giant gorilla. Prehistoric monsters. Reckless adventurers. All the seminal ingredients have been stirred together to form Kong: Skull Island, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ reboot of the classic ape story that has captured the imagination of moviegoers for more than 80 years.

The new film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and featuring an all-star ensemble that includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly, aims to resurrect the Eighth Wonder of the World into the same cinematic universe occupied by Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidora. While the effects are 21st century state-of-the-art, the key elements of the film all come from the playbook of Merian C. Cooper, the filmmaker who created the Kong mythos in 1933 — a template that has proven remarkably durable, and has gone largely unchanged, over the decades. With Skull Island in theaters this weekend, Yahoo Movies has compiled this look back at every cinematic version of Kong, including one or two that you might never have heard of.