The original 1933 King Kong is one of my all time favorite movies. As a sprog I watched that movie with wide-eyed astonishment time and again. I can trace much of my love for adventure and the unknown to that movie. It has influenced many artists and creators through the years. Even the legendary Ray Harryhausen cited this movie as the inspiration for him to get into stop motion animation.
And now quite by accident I found someone listing several possible inspirations for this legendary movie. Look and be amazed! http://not.pulpcovers.com/post/153364595540/the-works-that-inspired-king-kong
The direct reference to the real life event of the explorer Paul de Chailu bringing news of gorillas to Europe is most intriguing. Certainly a worthy event to launch an epic story from! The silent film starring someone in a suit doesn't shock me. It wouldn't surprise me if it gave some influence, perhaps even a "This is a good idea with poor execution. Let's do it right!" I could be completely wrong, as film making was very different back then. I would love to find out though.
The possible influence that strikes me the most however is the story of the Meu-Meu, written by none other than the amazing author H. Rider Haggard! He's the one who invented the lost civilization sub-genre. Edgar Rice Burroughs was inspired by him. The man was wonderfully prolific, best known for producing King Solomon's Mines, amongst a slew of others. And thanks to the magic of the internet and Project Gutenberg this story is now available for reading for free! Christmas has come early for me dear readers! I was positively giddy when I came across this gem.
I'm going to read this story post haste. I feel like a story archaeologist! I love following the bread crumb trail of storytellers, finding out what inspired who. The history of storytelling is so rich and wonderful and it just keeps on giving me new things to enjoy!