ByAlisha Grauso, writer at Creators.co
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

The recent trend of stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe battling gigantic movie monsters is continuing, everyone. Deadline reports that everyone's favorite fast-talking villain, Loki - er...I mean Tom Hiddleston - is set to play the lead in upcoming King Kong sequel [Skull Island](movie:1139115). If you're keeping count, he's now the fourth MCU actor in this trend: Chris Pratt will be taking on dinosaurs in [Jurassic World](movie:32752), Aaron Taylor-Johnson got his fight on in this summer's [Godzilla ](movie:425213) , and Idris Elba knows all about battling Kaiju from [Pacific Rim](movie:204401).

But King Kong is the granddaddy of famous, giant movie beasties, and I thought it would be fun to throw some trivia your way from his previous films - just so Hiddleston can see what he's up against.

KING KONG - 1933

KING KONG
KING KONG

HOW IT WAS MADE...

THE ROAR: To create King Kong's roar, the sound effects team combined a lion's roar with a tiger's roar and ran the sound backward slowly

THE MODEL: The model stood 18 inches tall and was constructed with a metal mesh frame covered in rubber, foam, and rabbit hair.

I BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW...

  • It is largely considered the first film to ever be re-released in theaters after an initial run
  • In the scene with airplanes taking off from the airstrip, the pilots were paid $10 each
  • It was graphic for its time: In the 1938 re-release, many of the scenes were deleted to comply with the new censorship laws passed a few years prior. One of those scenes was only ever screened once, at a preview screening in San Bernardino, CA in 1933, and has been lost ever since. It showed King Kong knocking four sailors into a jungle ravine where they were eaten alive by giant spiders. Audiences were so horrified by it that it disrupted the rest of the film, and producer Merian C. Cooper removed the scene himself the next day. No one knows where that scene is now.

BODY COUNT: 40

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KING KONG - 1976

KING KONG
KING KONG

HOW IT WAS MADE...

THE ROAR: This time, King Kong's sounds were recorded by a sadly uncredited Peter Cullen. He put his vocal chords and throat through so much strain that he started coughing up blood in the recording studio.

THE MODEL: SFX designer Carlo Rambaldi constructed King Kong with a 3.5 ton aluminum frame, covered with rubber and 1,012 pounds of Argentinian horse tails. It took 20 operators to work and at 40 feet tall, it is the largest mechanical creature ever created.

I BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW...

  • Empire State Building employees picketed the decision to shoot the remake at the World Trade Center by marching around in gorilla suits.
  • Meryl Streep auditioned for the part but was turned down by producer Dino De Laurentiis for being "too ugly," which he thought she wouldn't understand as he said it in Italian. ...She spoke Italian.
  • Giant gorilla arms were built for the close-up shots of King Kong holding Jessica Lange's character Dwan. When they were first tested for de Laurentiis, the crew played a prank on him and slowly had the mechanical arm give him the middle finger. Unfortunately, it broke immediately afterward and the hand was frozen flipping the bird for a week before it was fixed.

BODY COUNT: 32

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KING KONG - 2005

KING KONG
KING KONG

HOW IT WAS MADE...

THE ROAR: The most recent King Kong's roar is closest to the original version: It's simply a lion's roar played backward at half speed.

THE MODEL: Chameleon Andy Serkis WAS the model, essentially filming the movie twice. First he wore a gorilla suit beside Naomi Watts so she could react off him. Then he refilmed it wearing a mocap suit with a hundred and thirty-two sensors attached to his face alone to capture every nuance.

I BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW...

  • The movie shoot was so grueling and demanding that director Peter Jackson lost 70 lbs while filming
  • The Morse code the radio operator aboard the Venture receives actually spelled out "Show me the monkey."
  • The movie sets the record for VFX shots at 2400.
  • Jackson gave a nod to the lost scene from the 1933 version: Characters Jack Driscoll, Carl Denham, and their crew fall into a giant pit filled with bugs

BODY COUNT: 41

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Any other cool trivia I missed? Feel free to add your own!

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