King Kong vs. Prometheus

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King Kong vs. Prometheus
King Kong vs. Prometheus Concept Art
Alternate titles King Kong vs. Frankenstein,
King Kong vs. the Ginko
Planned Early 1960's
Concept history King Kong vs. Frankenstein
King Kong vs. Prometheus
King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong vs. Prometheus is an unrealized King Kong film proposal conceived by Willis O'Brien. It eventually led to the production of King Kong vs. Godzilla, though O'Brien was not consulted at all about the finished product.


In the jungles of the African Congo, the grandson of Dr. Frankenstein creates a humanoid shaped monster made of various megafauna such as elephants and crocodiles. At the same time, King Kong is revealed to have survived his fall from the Empire State Building, spirited back to Skull Island by Carl Denham. Originally meant to be a servant, Dr. Frankenstein is encouraged by a visiting Carl Denham to promote his creation and the two combine their respect monsters into a large show together. The doctor assumes the creation, the Prometheus, is safe thanks to a control device. However the Prometheus turns on his creator and kills him upon the show being brought to San Francisco. With the Prometheus on a rampage, King Kong is turned loose to fend him off. The two creatures do battle across the city, where they both eventually perish after tumbling off the Golden Gate Bridge.[1]


King Kong vs. Frankenstein was a project originally conceived as a sequel to the 1933 film King Kong, with a treatment written by stop-motion animator Willis O'Brien, featuring King Kong battling a large monster created by Dr. Frankenstein's grandson in San Francisco.

O'Brien showed his treatment and concept illustrations to Daniel O'Shea of RKO Pictures, who in turn introduced O'Brien to producer John Beck. After a handshake deal with O'Brien, Beck commissioned screenwriter George Yates to flesh out the treatment into a full screenplay that could be shown to investors.[2] Yates changed the title to King Kong vs. Prometheus, after the full title of Mary Shelley’s original novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Unable to find an interested studio in the U.S., John Beck went to Toho with the script. Toho instead purchased the rights to use the King Kong character from RKO and produced King Kong vs. Godzilla, which Beck retained the distribution rights for in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Israel.[3][4] O'Brien was not aware of the film's existence until after it had been released in Japanese theaters. He contemplated suing Beck for intent to defraud, but did not have enough money for a protracted legal battle. On November 10, 1962, O'Brien died of a heart attack in his home, and his widow would later cite "the frustration of the King Kong Vs Frankenstein deal" as a contributing factor.[5]



This is a list of references for King Kong vs. Prometheus. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. LeMay, John. The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films. Bicep Books. pp. 202, 298. 15 June 2017. ISBN: 978-1548145255.
  2. Morton, Ray. King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 121. 2005. ISBN: 1557836698.
  3. Steve Ryfle. Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G". ECW Press. p. 80-81. 1998.
  4. Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa. Wesleyan University Press. p. 186. 2017.
  5. Harryhausen, Ray; Dalton, Tony. A Century of Stop Motion Animation: From Melies to Aardman. Watson-Guptill. p. 111. 2008. ISBN: 0823099806.


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