King Kong is a 1976 American monster adventure film produced by Dino De Laurentiis and directed by John Guillermin. It is a remake of the 1933 film of the same name about a giant ape that is captured and taken to New York City for exhibition. Featuring special effects by Carlo Rambaldi, it stars Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, and Jessica Lange in her first film role.
The idea to remake King Kong was conceived by Michael Eisner, who was then an ABC executive, in 1974. He separately proposed the idea to Universal Pictures CEO Sidney Sheinberg and Paramount Pictures CEO Barry Diller. Dino De Laurentiis quickly acquired the film rights from RKO-General and subsequently hired television writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr. to write the script. John Guillermin was hired as director and filming lasted from January to August 1976. Before the film's release, Universal Pictures sued De Laurentiis and RKO-General alleging breach of contract, and attempted to develop their own remake of King Kong. In response, De Laurentiis and RKO-General filed separate countersuits against Universal Pictures, all of which were withdrawn by January 1976.
The film was released on December 17, 1976, to mixed reviews from film critics, but was a box office success. It won a noncompetitive Special Achievement Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Sound. Of the three King Kong main films, it is the only one to feature the World Trade Center instead of the Empire State Building. A sequel titled King Kong Lives was released in 1986.