That's Kong. He's king around here. He's God to these people. „ 

Hank Marlow (Kong: Skull Island)


King Kong (キングコング,   Kingu Kongu?), also dubbed Titanus Kong or just simply Kong, is a giant ape daikaiju created by Legendary Pictures that first appeared in the 2017 film, Kong: Skull Island. He will also appear in the 2021 film, Godzilla vs. Kong, where he will meet and face-off against Godzilla.


Kong was named by the Iwi inhabitants of Skull Island. The name also corresponds to Congo, an African country known for its gorilla population, the ape that primarily inspired Kong.


2017 design

Kong in Kong: Skull Island.

Eight months were spent designing Kong to make him a powerful anti-hero with an element of humanity to make audiences feel an affinity for Kong. The director asked for the MonsterVerse Kong's design to be inspired by and act as a throwback to the 1933 film's design while being truly identifiable as the "2017 version of Kong." Famed creature designer Carlos Huante created an anatomically updated physique by referencing posed frames from the 1933 film. Honoring the original design, Industrial Light & Magic developed the 2017 design by giving Kong orange-brown fur, a small crown, a huge brow, an exaggerated muzzle, and animators gave Kong a wide-eyed roar. This Kong was designed to be 104 feet tall to give him weight and a grandiose quality that would evoke the idea of a human speck in the shadow of the colossus.[1]

The concept of Kong walking upright like a human was a design choice intended to give off the impression that it was its own species, over that of a silverback gorilla-like the 2005 film's incarnation, or a generic "big monkey." The designers took cues from the 1933 variant's exaggerated or cartoonish properties and attempted to twist them and make it their own visually. While upright, unlike his 2005 counterpart, his stance shows how his arms are longer than his legs, proportion wise, given him an unnatural appearance compared to a human, providing him with a distinctive silhouette.

Kong's upright stature is an intentional departure from the traditional, hunched-over posture of apes, as the producers said: "It made him feel more like a god" as opposed to merely a big animal, and give people the visceral response of looking at a god. It also serves to pay homage to Kong's original man in a suit depictions, given his more humanoid stance. The overall design was created to be simple enough to be drawn by a third-grader, yet iconic enough to be immediately recognized. Another big part of the design was instilling divisiveness in the audience, where some see Kong as a threat, others a savior, and some a god.[2]

In general, Kong has a rounded head and several scars (three of them running diagonally from his left pectoral to the right side of his torso, and several more on the palm of his right hand after attempting to grab the rotating blades of a helicopter). It is also said by Hank Marlow, who got his information from the natives, that Kong had not yet reached his full size.

2021 design

Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong.

As of 2021, aside from an increase in size, Kong looks relatively unchanged, however, certain parts of his fur have transitioned to a darker shade of brown, and even being black in certain areas, as well as having developed into a somewhat beard-like structure on his face to signify his older age. Additionally, the scars on his chest appear to have healed more properly, but are still faintly visible.


Kong is portrayed through the use of CGI, aided by performance motion capture by Terry Notary with reference facial animation provided by Toby Kebbell.[3] With the blessing of previous Kong actor, Andy Serkis, Notary completed the motion capture for Kong in only three days.[4]

Kong's size was a crucial factor in the director's decision for keyframe animation, led by ILM animation supervisor Scott Benza, to make most of Kong's performance, allowing the director to work closely with the animators and get the desired performance.


Long before production on the film began, the filmmakers experimented with different techniques to create Kong's roar, and supervising sound editor/sound designer Al Nelson oversaw the methods. As a reversed tiger roar and a lion roar were used to make the original 1933 Kong roar, Nelson visited the National Zoological Park in Washington D.C. and Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom and recorded lion roars as the starting point. He also mixed and matched gorilla and monkey sounds to create additional layers.

To fully capture the desired "island-shaking" levels, the sound team set up speaker systems at Skywalker Sound and played Kong's bellows and roars through a 5.1 channel system.


Kong's a pretty good king. Keeps to himself, mostly. „ 

— Hank Marlow

Kong is proven to be very fierce and brutal when angered, hurling trees at the oncoming helicopters and smashing many of them together. Despite this, he has a relatively gentle and peaceful side. He helps a Sker Buffalo trapped under helicopter wreckage, befriends Mason Weaver and James Conrad, spares Aaron Brooks, and saves Weaver when she fell into the river during his battle with the Skull Devil. Kong also demonstrates remarkable intelligence, as he attacked the Skull Devil using a tree trunk as a staff and tearing an abandoned ship's propeller to use as a melee weapon.

Kong is proven to be at least partly carnivorous, feeding on animals such as a Mire Squid that he killed. It's also implied that he ate one of Packard's soldiers; however, this is proven to be accidental as the man falls into Kong's mouth while the latter holds a helicopter above himself as he roars.

Kong seems to show a great deal of loneliness due to him losing his parents to the Skullcrawlers as an infant and being the last of his kind. His eyes well up with tears when Weaver gently touches him, and one of the cave paintings depicts him crouching and mourning over his deceased parents' remains. The producers intentionally designed Kong to have a personality similar to a "teenager orphaned early and forced to assume adult responsibilities," who is not yet fully grown but is left to fend for himself. The director wanted to give the audience insight into Kong's state of mind of him being a lonely and exhausted god lumbering around the island, being its protector, and killing time as he drags himself from place to place. Terry Notary played Kong as a lonely, burdened "14-year-old that's trapped in the life of an adult" coming into himself and his protector role, driven to uphold his sense of duty by the burden of the loss of his family. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts also described Kong as an adolescent growing into his role as alpha as he faces the defining battle of his life to claim his rightful place as King of Skull Island.

Kong is proven to have immense hatred for the Skullcrawlers, becoming very aggressive while encountering them, as this hatred was caused by the Skullcrawlers killing his parents when he was a newborn.

In Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, it states that Kong has an instinct to protect humans. However, he is still shown killing people but only those who did something to warrant it; such as attacking him or the island (which would imply hostility or attract Skullcrawlers as Hank Marlow states) or endangering the lives of others.


Standing over 100-feet tall, the beast they call Kong is a primate of such size and ferocity that his very existence rewrites every chapter of evolutionary theory. More mountain than mammal, he walks upright on two legs, his towering form shaking the ground with each thunderous step. It is hard to say how long Kong has existed, but initial analysis of bone structure and teeth suggests the creature is an adolescent. He's still growing.
While sharing a common ancestry with apes, Kong is an entirely new superspecies beyond any existent categorization of life on Earth. Worshipped as a god by the Iwi, Kong has inspired a culture of reverence among the indigenous peoples of Skull Island. Across the sweep of his natural domain, his history has been memorialized through a series of sacred monuments. Intricately painted petroglyphs and tomes chart Kong's god-like rise to power.
And that power has come at a terrible price.
The emergence of a new breed of apex predator - the Skullcrawlers - challenged Kong's kind, threatening extinction in an evolutionary war that has waged for millennia. The island is strewn with the bones of his fallen ancestors. His family.
How long can it have been since he last gazed upon another like himself?

— Monarch Creature Profile

Kong is an ape-like superspecies that evolved back in prehistoric times. While the species shares a common ancestry with modern-day apes, it is considered to be an entirely new categorization of life on its own. The species resided on Skull Island for millions of years, but as of 1973, Kong is the only known surviving member of his kind after the Skullcrawlers killed his parents.


Early Life

In the past, Kong was born during the bloody battle betwean his Parents and Skullcrawlers, but his mother knew what to do, while his father battled against Skullcrawlers. Eventually Kong's parents are killed, only Kong survived and he was the last of it's kind.

In 1943, the creatures from the underground known as the Skullcrawlers: creatures that had long since adapted to the darkness and the environment below the surface, attacked the natives and the last remaining relatives of the Titanus primates. Enraged by his loss and the destruction of his home, Kong defeated the Skullcrawlers and protected the tribe from any danger threatening the island.

This reunited the Iwi, everyone agreeing to protect the island and continuing to worship Kong since then. There were no more sacrificial rituals or any similar practice, for they had learned their ways after what had happened. Jia began to communicate with Kong, developing a relationship between the two. This gave all the more reason for the natives to be grateful of their King.

Kong: Skull Island

This is his home. We're just guests here... Kong's the last of his kind, but he's still growing. „ 

Hank Marlow (Kong: Skull Island)

In the 1944 prologue, Kong first appears rising over a ledge where Marlow and Gunpei Ikari are fighting.


In 1973, he makes his first proper appearance as Preston Packard and his crew drop bombs on the land below to map it. Enraged, Kong attacks the helicopters, swatting them out of the air and killing many of Packard's men, to which Packard swears vengeance against Kong. He reappears later on, heavily wounded from the earlier fight. As he washes his wounds and drinks from the lake, unknowingly watched by Jack Chapman, a Mire Squid attacks Kong, but he manages to kill the creature by stomping on its head and proceeds to make a meal of the giant cephalopod.

KongSkullIslandScreenshot - 6451.jpg

Later, Kong is seen jumping from one mountain to another as he looks over the island. By a large vent leading underground, Kong finds a dead Sker Buffalo nearby being eaten by a Skullcrawler. As he is about to engage the creature, another one ambushes Kong from behind. After a quick fight, he kills them by throwing one to the ground, breaking its neck, and stomping the other's head. Then some time afterward, as Weaver tries and fails to save a Sker Buffalo trapped under a downed helicopter outside the Iwi village, Kong appears and rescues the buffalo. He encounters Weaver for the first time and looks at her curiously before leaving her be. Later that night, he is seen sitting at the top of a mountain, somberly watching an aurora.

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At night the following day, Kong sees both Weaver and Conrad on the top of a tall ledge through a blanket of fog and approaches them. While frightening at first, Kong warms up to them as Weaver touches his face and visibly weeps before retreating. Suddenly, explosions begin to sound and blaze in the distance as Packard has set a napalm trap to kill Kong. He is lured in and set on fire by Packard. Several of Packard's men get crushed in his rampage, but Packard renders Kong unconscious and prepares to blow him up with explosive charges. However, Conrad, Weaver, and Marlow intervene and convince the remainder of Packard's men to defect against killing Kong. However, from the swamp nearby emerges the largest of the Skullcrawlers, the Skull Devil. After coming to and crushing Packard with his fist, Kong attempts to fight the monster, but the Skull Devil manages to overpower him.

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As the morning comes, the Skull Devil turns its attention onto the humans and chases them into a marsh. Kong returns and saves them by bashing a giant boulder against the Skull Devil's head, giving the humans the chance to get to safety. The fight continues with Kong managing to get the upper hand by wielding a tree trunk as a bat at one point. However, the Skull Devil uses his tail to throw Kong into a shipwreck, where he becomes tangled in its chains. As the Skull Devil prepares to deliver the killing blow, the humans distract the giant monster long enough for Kong to free himself.

Kong skull island alpha skullcrawler kong 5 by giuseppedirosso-dblryjv.jpg

Using a ship's propeller attached to a chain like a flail, Kong manages to wound and pull the Skull Devil back towards him. Then Kong throws the Skull Devil against the cliff Weaver is standing on, causing her to fall into the water. He fights and seemingly kills the Skull Devil when he slashes the giant reptile's throat with the propeller. However, as Kong rescues Weaver, the Skull Devil springs back to life and attacks, trying to eat the human clasped in Kong's hand. Then the Skull Devil wraps his tongue around Kong's arm and pulls it down his throat. As the Skull Devil refuses to let go, Kong violently yanks out his opponent's tongue, ripping out the Skull Devil's internal organs, finally killing his enemy for good.

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Once Kong ensures Weaver is finally safe, he gently sets her down and leaves. As Conrad reunites with Weaver, Kong looks back at them before wandering off. He appears one last time as the humans depart from the island in the rescue helicopters. Kong watches them leave as he beats his chest and loudly roars, proclaiming himself the King of Skull Island.

Skull Island: The Birth of Kong

On August 7, 1995, 22 years later, Aaron Brooks, the son of Houston Brooks and San Lin, leads a team of five Monarch operatives on a secret mission to Skull Island for at least three days to uncover answers about Kong. Following an attack by Psychovultures, the operatives' pilot crash-lands on the west of the island in their V-22 Osprey while they parachute down to a cliff overlooking the island. Almost immediately, a pack of Death Jackals attacks them and kills survival expert, Helen Karsten. The Death Jackals pursue the remaining humans into a cave and corner them. Before the humans are finished off, Kong appears and saves them by crushing the Death Jackals in his hand and beneath his foot. Then Kong briefly stares at the cave entrance before walking away.

In July the following year, the remaining Monarch operatives, led by an Iwi boy named Ato, embark on a pilgrimage to uncover Kong's past and eventually meet with him. When a Sirenjaw by the wreckage of an old Dutch ship attacks the humans, they hear Kong's roar as he goes to fight it, and Aaron leads the others in Kong's direction. When Aaron and his team arrive at the scene, they see that Kong has already killed the Sirenjaw and left. The carcass eventually attracts Psychovultures and Death Jackals. The team then reaches the Boneyard and hides from a pack of Skullcrawlers in a cave. Riccio then experiences another vision and sees that the day of Kong's birth was when he lost his parents to the Skullcrawlers. Kong's mother hid her son in a cave by sealing its entrance with rocks while Kong's father fought off the Skullcrawlers. Kong then watched the Skullcrawlers kill his parents, creating the anger and hatred he had for the bipedal reptilians. When the Skullcrawlers left in the night, Kong walked towards his parents' bodies and cried in grief.

Kong makes his full appearance when a group of Mother Longlegs attack the Iwi settlement. Kong quickly kills all of the giant arachnids and crushes Riccio with his fist. Then he comes in contact with Aaron Brooks and spares his life. As Kong came and saved everyone when they needed him most, Aaron realizes that Kong has the instinct to protect human life.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Kong is mentioned in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and only fleetingly shown on monitors, as he ignored Ghidorah's call, wanting nothing to do with the Titans and the world beyond Skull Island and wanting them to have nothing to do with him.[5] In the film's novelization, Kong makes a brief appearance on Skull Island before making sure no Skullcrawlers leave the island after they also hear Ghidorah's call.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Kong will encounter and battle Godzilla in this film.



Kong is shown to be a great climber, capable of scaling sheer cliffs and mountain faces with relative ease (mainly due to his size).

Durability and stamina

Kong was able to withstand the bullets from military helicopters and attacks from the Skullcrawlers. With some injuries, his stamina is still very high, as he was able to walk and continue through with long engagements. Despite being temporarily knocked out from a napalm explosion, Kong could still briefly defend himself and awaken moments later to continue fighting against the Skull Devil. After he defeated the Skull Devil, he walked off, showing no signs of exhaustion.


After a brief and engaging struggle, Kong manages to figure out how to disembowel the Skull Devil.

Kong is shown to be an intelligent being, for he can differentiate his allies from his enemies. He also takes advantage of his surroundings while fighting and can use tools as many primates do, which he shows by using boulders and trees as weapons. He even used a chain to tear off the propeller from a wrecked ship and use it to grapple and hack the Skull Devil, and at one point, tried to strangle it with the chain.


Kong's hearing is quite powerful as he was able to hear a trapped Sker Buffalo struggling to break free from the wreckage of a helicopter. His vision is also strong enough to notice people standing on a cliff through the dead of night.

Speed and agility

Kong is surprisingly quick for a creature of his size, dodging Skullcrawlers that attack him from behind quickly. He has a body built for flexibility and can swing his long arms to make effective combat strikes. He is also able to leap very high.

Strength and combat

Like his previous incarnations, Kong is strong despite not being fully grown and great at combat against the multiple smaller Skullcrawlers that tried to ambush him. He can easily overpower a Mire Squid by smashing its head with his foot and tearing off its tentacles with his teeth. With his strength, his punches can incapacitate smaller Skullcrawlers and can wrestle and pin the largest of them to the ground by using sheer force. Kong can also stand on his feet while the Skull Devil's tail constricts his torso. He was also capable of casually lifting a crashed helicopter off of a trapped Sker Buffalo with one hand. He was even capable of easily uprooting large trees and throwing them a great distance at flying targets with accuracy. Kong even broke free from a ships anchor chains and used them as an effective ranged and melee weapon against the Skull Devil.


Lack of bodily armor

Kong's species are naturally born without armor, unlike Godzilla, who has incredibly thick scales that make him resist attacks from enemies. Kong is more susceptible to injury, shown when the rotor blades of one of Packard's helicopters grazed his palm, suffering severe wounds to his arm from helicopter artillery rounds, and being half-scorched alive by napalm fire.

Poor healing factor

Unlike Godzilla, who heals very quickly, Kong has a relatively slow healing factor comparable to that of a human. He needs a long time and sustenance to heal, as seen when he washes his arm slashed during the helicopters' fight. The scars on his chest have also not completely faded.


  • Kong is referred to merely as "Kong" and not the usual moniker of "King Kong" (the official bio references this, stating the 'story of how Kong became king').
  • The MonsterVerse Kong is currently the largest incarnation of the ape kaiju to date.
  • The skeletons of Kong's species (his deceased parents) are strewn along the ground of the Bone Graveyard (also known as the "Valley of Fallen Gods").
  • Kong seems to care for the native Sker Buffaloes, as he is enraged upon seeing one killed by a Skullcrawler and later helps another that got trapped under the wreckage of a helicopter.
  • Some of Kong's animation was portrayed by Terry Notary, who previously played the chimpanzee Rocket in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Fellow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes​ actor Toby Kebbell, who played Koba, provided some reference facial animation for Kong.
  • Kong combines features of early hominids, the mythical Bigfoot, and perhaps some aspects of the Gargantuas instead of being a more "realistic" gorilla, as seen in the 2005 film.
  • According to director Vogt-Roberts, an alternate opening would have taken place in WWII with soldiers fighting on a beach, when a massive ape (similar to the 2005 Kong) attacks them and is immediately gunned down. However, the real Kong then emerges, many times more massive and threatening. Unfortunately, the studio nixed the idea, telling Vogt-Roberts, "You can't do that!"(Citation needed)
  • This is the first American King Kong film where Kong does not die at the end: in the 1933 and 2005 movies, he is shot by aircraft and falls to his death from a skyscraper, specifically the Empire State Building. In the 1976 film, he fell from a skyscraper, specifically the World Trade Center twin towers, but was put into a comatose state. In King Kong Lives, his artificial heart fails, and he dies, and he is already deceased in Son of Kong.
    • In contrast to the 1933 and 2005 incarnations who met their ends trying to fight off attacking airplanes, this incarnation of Kong makes his first significant appearance by successfully defeating a group of military aircraft.
  • Kong is similar to Godzilla in several ways: both are the last of their kind, both have a vendetta against their natural enemies (the Skullcrawlers, the MUTOs, and Ghidorah) who have killed the rest of their species, and both are portrayed as morally-neutral apex predators who maintain order and have no personal quarrel with humans.
  • Like the 2005 incarnation, this Kong has numerous scars on his body, giving him a somewhat "battle-hardened" look.
  • Like the traditional backstories for Kong, this incarnation is the last of his kind.
  • In the novelization, Kong's injuries from Packard's napalm trap are more severe as his fur is left smoldering in places with some patches wholly burnt off, exposing the skin underneath. More instances of Kong's intelligence are shown, such as using dirt to put out the fires made by the helicopter battle and Packard seeing Kong trigger a rockslide to bury a Skullcrawler.
  • The outpost Kong lives on, Monarch Outpost 33, homages 1933, the year King Kong was released.

List of appearances





This is a list of references for King Kong (MonsterVerse). 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. Kong: Skull Island Production and High-Res Photos. SciFi Japan. Retrieved January 7, 2018
  2. Smith, C. Molly (November 10, 2016). Kong: Skull Island gives first look at movie monster. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 27, 2017
  3. Schaefer, Sandy (May 11, 2016). Kong: Skull Island – Toby Kebbell Provided Kong Facial References. Screenrant. Retrieved January 12, 2018
  4. Shanley, Patrick (March 10, 2017). 'Skull Island': Kong Motion-Capture Actor on Sequel Plans and Seeking Andy Serkis' Blessing. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 27, 2017

Kong: Skull Island

Film-based kaiju
Godzilla kaiju
King Kong kaiju
Mothra kaiju
Gamera kaiju
Other kaiju
Scrapped kaiju
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