After the success of the 1933 film, King Kong, famed animator, Willis O'Brien, pitched an idea for another sequel called King Kong vs Frankenstein to RKO's producer, John Beck. The idea was conceived back in the 50's after Willis O'Brien had worked on other projects such as The Giant Behemoth and The Black Scorpion. Also, even though RKO was still around many of their film titles had to be sold off to other studios just to stay in business. Plus, Willis O'Brien was in a dark place at the time where many of his other original projects would get turned down after another and his successor, Ray Harryhausen, was getting all of the attention.
John Beck agreed to Willis O'Brien's idea and asked for O'Brien to come up with a script. However, John Beck quickly backstabbed Willis O'Brien by stealing the script, changing the title to King Kong vs Prometheus, sold it to the Godzilla parent studio, Toho Co., and the script was rewritten to King Kong vs Godzilla.
Taking place several years after King Kong, we come to learn that the giant ape survived the fall from the Empire State building and was sent back to Skull Island. The film would've followed the great grandson of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the son of Carl Denham.
Frankenstein thought it would be a great idea to continue his great grandfather's research to reanimate the dead. This time, instead of using body parts of people, he would have sown together different animal parts. The experiment came to a success and the creature comes to life. Denham made an offer to Frankenstein to make the greatest show on Earth and display both King Kong and Frankenstein's monster on display.
Much like a circus, Denham and Frankenstein had their monsters doing tricks. However, Kong and Frankenstein's monster could not stand the sight of each other and they duke it out on the streets of San Fransisco leading to their demise on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Even though most of the script was rewritten for King Kong vs Godzilla, some of the ideas from King Kong vs Frankenstein were still left in such as King Kong absorbing electricity to grow stronger was originally suppose to be for the Frankenstein monster and then that ability being passed on to Godzilla in Godzilla vs the Sea Monster when the movie was originally called King Kong vs The Sea Monster. Even the idea to put a monster on display was considered for the unmade King Kong vs Godzilla sequel, except it would only feature Godzilla on display instead of the monster.
Since Toho Co. had bought the rights for the Frankenstein monster when they bought the script, the studio had an idea where the monster would've fought Godzilla. The idea was scrapped and decided to make Frankenstein Conquers The World (aka Frankenstein vs Baragon in Japan) instead. Frankenstein Conquers The World would be a hit at the box office and the sequel title, War of the Gargantuas, was already underway.
As much as I like King Kong vs Godzilla, it is kind of infuriating that the backstory of that film stemmed from Willis O'Brien's idea. Even the thought that O'Brien was struggling to get any project started and was backstabbed by John Beck really makes me wish that King Kong vs Frankenstein would've been made rather than King Kong vs Godzilla. With Willis O'Brien at the helm of animation, this movie could've been a great spectacle. Could it have been as memorable as King Kong vs Godzilla? We would never know since it never got made.
I want to know what your thoughts are on this lost film. Do you like the idea for King Kong vs Frankenstein or are you glad that we got King Kong vs Godzilla instead? Leave a comment in the comments section on your thoughts on King Kong vs Frankenstein. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, and Gab to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.