Fred S. Wilson was an executive who worked for the Petrox Corporation in the 1976 King Kong film remake. He was an extremely small-minded, greedy man who only seemed to care about money. Fred Wilson was portrayed by Charles Grodin.
Fred formed the expedition based on infrared imagery which reveals a previously undiscovered Indian Ocean island hidden by a permanent cloud bank; Wilson believed the island to have a huge depository of oil, and promised his bosses he would come back with “the big one.” Jack Prescott, a primate paleontologist, sneaked onto the expedition’s enormous vessel en route and attempted to warn Fred about Kong, "the creature who touches heaven." Fred had Jack locked up, afraid that he was spying for a rival oil major. While being escorted to the brig, Prescott spotted a life raft and convinced them to investigate. On board they found the beautiful - and unconscious - Dwan, an aspiring actress who was aboard a director's yacht which suddenly exploded. After Wilson conducted a thorough background check on Prescott and realized he was telling the truth, he allowed Prescott to perform a cursory exam of Dwan due to his medical background, and appointed Prescott the expedition's official photographer so he could work off the expense of his passage.
Though Fred originally thought the island to be uninhabited, the team soon discovered a primitive tribe of natives living wihtin the confines of a gigantic wall. Wilson was unconcerned and told Roy Bagley and Captain Ross to simply scare the natives away and begin drilling for oil, with little regard for how this would affect their culture.
When Bagley discovered that the oil deposit was useless, Wilson, fearful that he would be fired because of a wasted expedition, hatched a harebrained scheme to capture the giant gorilla known as King Kong. His intention was to make back the money Petrox had spent on the expedition (plus some extra for himself) by exhibiting the huge ape back in the United States. Kong was put on display in a beauty-and-the-beast farce at Shea Stadium in New York City, where he acted as emcee wearing a jungle explorer outfit. After the show, Kong was angered when he saw the paparazzi mauling Dwan and went berserk, breaking his chains. Fred attempted to keep order by claiming Kong was trapped in an escape-proof cage which had been inspected by the New York government, only for Kong to bend the bars shortly afterwards. Audience members panicked and ran for their lives, with some people dying in the stampede and a few others killed by Kong's feet. In the mass panic, Fred was knocked over and lay frozen with fear as Kong stood above him. Presumably King Kong had some idea of Fred and his intent, as he growled before landing his foot down. Presumably Fred Wilson was killed by King Kong, getting his just reward for his greed, publicity hunger, and reckless disregard for putting the people of New York City in danger.
- In the official version of King Kong, Wilson seems to die when Kong steps on him while escaping from Shea Stadium. Originally though, it was revealed that Kong had narrowly missed him and instead squished Wilson's hat, but preview audiences demanded that the film's villain die and so the revelation that Wilson survived is cut out: We merely see Kong's foot come down on something following a shot of Wilson screaming.