Planet of the Apes (franchise)

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Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes (logo).svg
Creator Pierre Boulle
Original work La Planète des singes
Print publications
Novels La Planète des singes
Comics List of comics
Films and television
Films Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Television series Planet of the Apes
Return to the Planet of the Apes
Games
Video games Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes is an American media franchise[1] comprising eight films, two television series, and various comic books, novels and a video game. The series began with the 1968 science fiction film Planet of the Apes, which was based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. Originally owned by producer Arthur P. Jacobs' APJAC Productions, the rights and privileges to the franchise have been under the ownership of 20th Century Fox since 1973.[2]

Background[edit]

The original series of five films (1968–1973) were produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, based on Boulle's original novel premise, and released by 20th Century Fox. They chronicle the fall of humanity and the rise of intelligent apes through the points of view of astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston), astronaut John Brent (James Franciscus), the apes Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), and their ape son Caesar (also played by McDowall). The first film was co-written by Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.[3]

This was followed by two television series in the 1970s. The live-action series was called Planet of the Apes, which premiered on September 13, 1974. The series takes place approximately 900 years prior to the original Planet of the Apes film featuring a civilization where apes are the dominant life form, but humans still have the ability to speak. The animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes, that premiered on September 6, 1975, was independent of the film series. While only lasting one season each, both series spun off a variety of tie-in toys.[4]

In 2001, Planet of the Apes, a remake of the original 1968 film was released. Directed by Tim Burton, it featured an entirely new interpretation of Boulle's novel and state-of-the-art visual effects and makeup for the apes.[5]

In 2011, 20th Century Fox produced a reboot to the original series, called Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt. The film stars James Franco and tells the story of an ape rebellion on Earth, led by a genetically-altered chimpanzee named Caesar (Andy Serkis). It is intended to be the first in a new series of films.[6] The sequel to Rise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was released on July 11, 2014, with Matt Reeves directing and Serkis reprising his role.[7]

Feature films[edit]

Number Title Release date Director Timeline
1 Planet of the Apes February 8, 1968 Franklin J. Schaffner Original series
2 Beneath the Planet of the Apes May 27, 1970 Ted Post
3 Escape from the Planet of the Apes May 21, 1971 Don Taylor
4 Conquest of the Planet of the Apes June 29, 1972 J. Lee Thompson
5 Battle for the Planet of the Apes June 15, 1973
6 Planet of the Apes July 27, 2001 Tim Burton Remake
7 Rise of the Planet of the Apes August 5, 2011 Rupert Wyatt Reboot series
8 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes July 11, 2014 Matt Reeves
9 Untitled Third Planet of the Apes Reboot Film July 29, 2016

Reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Worldwide gross Budget
Planet of the Apes (1968) 89% (47 reviews)[8] $32,589,624[9] $5.4 million
Beneath the Planet of the Apes 41% (22 reviews)[10] $18,999,718[11] $3 million
Escape from the Planet of the Apes 78% (23 reviews)[12] $12,348,905[13] $2.5 million
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes 44% (18 reviews)[14] $9,700,000[15] $1.8 million
Battle for the Planet of the Apes 38% (24 reviews)[16] $8,844,595[17] $1.7 million
Planet of the Apes (2001) 45% (156 reviews)[18] 50 (34 reviews)[19] $362,211,740[20] $100 million
Rise of the Planet of the Apes 82% (246 reviews)[21] 68 (39 reviews)[22] $481,800,873[23] $93 million
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 92% (115 reviews)[24] 78 (38 reviews)[25] $120 million
Total 64% $926,495,455 $327.4 million

Future[edit]

In January 2014, 20th Century Fox announced a third film in the reboot series with Matt Reeves returning to direct and co-write along with Mark Bomback.

Characters[edit]

The following table shows the cast members who played the primary characters in the film series.

Character Film
Planet of the Apes (1968) Beneath the Planet of the Apes Escape from the Planet of the Apes Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Battle for the Planet of the Apes Planet of the Apes (2001) Rise of the Planet of the Apes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Humans[edit]

George Taylor Charlton Heston Charlton Heston (archival footage)
Nova Linda Harrison
Brent James Franciscus
Mendez Paul Richards
Albina Natalie Trundy
Skipper Tod Andrews
Dr. Lewis Dixon Bradford Dillman
Dr. Stephanie ("Stevie") Branton Natalie Trundy
Dr. Otto Hasslein Eric Braeden
Armando Ricardo Montalbán
Governor Breck Don Murray
MacDonald Hari Rhodes
Kolp Severn Darden
MacDonald Austin Stoker
Mendez Paul Stevens
Jake Michael Stearns
Leo Davidson Mark Wahlberg
Daena Estella Warren
Birn Luke Eberl
Will Rodman James Franco James Franco (archival footage)
Caroline Aranha Freida Pinto
John Landon Brian Cox
Steven Jacobs David Oyelowo
Charles Rodman John Lithgow
Dodge Landon Tom Felton
Dreyfus Gary Oldman
Malcolm Jason Clarke
Ellie Keri Russell
Alexander Kodi Smit-McPhee
Carver Kirk Acevedo
Werner Jocko Sims
McVeigh Kevin Rankin
Finney Keir O'Donnell

Apes[edit]

Cornelius Roddy McDowall David Watson Roddy McDowall
Dr. Zira Kim Hunter
Dr. Zaius Maurice Evans Charlton Heston
Ursus James Gregory
Caesar Walker Edmiston (voice) Roddy McDowall Andy Serkis
Lisa Natalie Trundy
Aldo David Chow Claude Akins
Virgil Paul Williams
Nova Lisa Marie
Ari Helena Bonham Carter
Thade Tim Roth
Rocket Terry Notary
Maurice Karin Konoval
Cornelia Devyn Dalton Judy Greer
Koba Christopher Gordon Toby Kebbell
River Keanu Reeves
Ash Larramie "Doc" Shaw
Grey Lee Ross

Crew[edit]

Job Film
Planet of the Apes
(1968)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes Escape from the Planet of the Apes Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Battle for the Planet of the Apes Planet of the Apes
(2001)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Untitled third film of the reboot series
Director Franklin J. Schaffner Ted Post Don Taylor J. Lee Thompson Tim Burton Rupert Wyatt Matt Reeves
Producer(s) Arthur P. Jacobs Richard D. Zanuck Peter Chernin,
Dylan Clark,
Rick Jaffa,
Amanda Silver
Music Jerry Goldsmith Leonard Rosenman Jerry Goldsmith Tom Scott Leonard Rosenman Danny Elfman Patrick Doyle Michael Giacchino
Writer(s) Michael Wilson,
Rod Serling
Paul Dehn John William Corrington,
Joyce Hooper Corrington
William Broyles, Jr.,
Lawrence Konner
Mark Rosenthal
Rick Jaffa,
Amanda Silver
Rick Jaffa,
Amanda Silver,
Scott Z. Burns,
Mark Bomback
Matt Reeves,
Mark Bomback

Television series[edit]

Two brief television series also make up the bulk of the Planet of the Apes mythos: Planet of the Apes (1974) and Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975). Both series lasted for one season, with a total of 27 episodes.

Spin-off media[edit]

Books[edit]

  • La Planète des singes, (Monkey Planet or Planet of the Apes, in English), a 1963 French science fiction novel by Pierre Boulle that inspired the Planet of the Apes franchise.
  • Planet of the Apes: The Fall (2002), a novel by William T. Quick that serves as a prequel to the 2001 remake film.
  • Planet of the Apes: Colony (2003), a sequel novel by Quick that follows the events of the 2002 novel.[26]
  • Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes (2011), illustrated novel by Andrew E. C. Gaska, based on a story by Gaska, Rich Handley and Christian Berntsen, set in the same universe as the iconic 1968 film. It explores the storyline of what happened to Landon during the events of the first film. The book features illustrations by several different artists, including Jim Steranko, Matt Busch, Dave Dorman, Scott Hampton, Joe Jusko, Ken Kelly, Christopher Moeller, Tom Scioli and Mark Texeira.

Comics[edit]

Planet of the Apes-based comics have been published almost continuously since 1968 by several companies including: Marvel, Dark Horse, and Malibu. BOOM! Studios is the most recent company to publish comics within the series, launching a series of issues taking place prior to the events of the original 1968 film.

Games[edit]

Milton Bradley released a board game, in 1974, for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up. Each turn would consist of a roll of 2 dice. The player rolling would move their token by one of the dice (or die) and another player's token by the other dice (die). The object was to trap all opponents in a cage that was located in the center of the board. The cover of the box included characters from the film Battle for the Planet of the Apes: Caesar & his family, the Lawgiver, and a gorilla sentry.[27]

In 1983, a game developed for the Atari VCS also entitled Planet of the Apes was to be the first computer game based on the Planet of the Apes series. However, a crash in the gaming industry at the time led to its advertised release being abandoned.[28] Many years later the prototype game began to circulate among gaming enthusiasts. It wasn't until 2001 that a video game based on the series was officially released. Constantly delayed,[29] Planet of the Apes was released by Fox Interactive in conjuncture with the 2001 remake film for Windows, PlayStation, and Game Boy Advance.[30]

Book and record sets[edit]

Power Records was an imprint of 'Peter Pan Records'. A media company that was based out of Newark, New Jersey, it produced children's read-along 'Book & Record' sets during the 1970s. These were 7x10" full color comics with a softcover and approximately 20 pages long. Included was a 7" 45 rpm record for narration, character dialogue, and sound effects. They retailed at around $1.49. In 1974, four out of the five Planet of the Apes films were produced as a set (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was the missing adaptation). These were produced by APJAC productions and 20th Century Fox, not the Marvel comic connection as some have thought. The exact date of issue is hard to locate, but it's believed to have been in early 1975. Power offered some original adaptations from the series, as well, and a 12" 33 rpm LP that compiled the original set of 4, but with no booklet this time.

1974 film marathon[edit]

In 1974, in preparation for the premiere of the Planet of the Apes television series, 20th Century Fox re-released the five theatrical films and called it the "Go Ape" marathon. The advertising campaign's major image featured a nondescript Ape pointing out to the viewer with the slogan "20th Century Fox Wants YOU to GO APE!", aping James Montgomery Flagg's famous Uncle Sam "I Want You for U.S. Army" poster. The marathon package was released with a PG rating, completely due to the MPAA rating that was given to "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (All other films in the original Ape series had been rated G.)

Mego, who released the Planet of the Apes action figures, also had a tie-in promotion with the "Go Ape" marathon where they were giving away free passes to the marathon.

Shared plot elements[edit]

Taylor's spacecraft[edit]

Icarus is the fan-given name for the spacecraft in Planet of the Apes (1968), designed by art director William Creber. Similar spaceships, but with different doors and interiors, appear in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), and the first episode of the Planet of the Apes (1974) television series. It also makes a cameo via news feed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Although unnamed in the films and the scripts, the name Icarus, coined by a fan named Larry Evans in 1972, was used by some toy model companies, then later in the Mr. Comics' miniseries Revolution on the Planet of the Apes. The film Rise of the Planet of the Apes did eventually utilize the name officially. Evans named the ship after the tragic Greek hero.[31]

The Forbidden Zone, as seen in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

Forbidden Zone[edit]

The Forbidden Zone in the Planet of the Apes movie series is the barren, lifeless area declared off-limits to all apes. While most apes do not know the precise reasons why the area is forbidden, it is generally understood to be a wasteland, one fit only for humans, outlaws, and fools. According to the secret scrolls available only to the senior orangutan clergy, the Forbidden Zone "was once a paradise" and humans "made a desert out of it"[32] as the result of a nuclear war which occurs off-screen in-between Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes.[33] To the apes' general public, however, the Forbidden Zone is forbidden simply because their ancient Lawgiver forbade it. In the first two films, the Forbidden Zone is the post-apocalyptic ruins of New York City, populated by telepathic human mutants whose Méndez religion seated at St. Patrick's Cathedral centres around the Alpha Omega bomb capable of burning the atmosphere and thus instantly destroying all life on Earth. The city depicted whole in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and as a nuclear wasteland in Battle for the Planet of the Apes is unspecified although the skyline of Century City district of Los Angeles is prominently featured and no New York landmarks are seen; despite this, Battle ends with Méndez's creation of the mutants' religion around the atom bomb. The television series' forbidden city is set in the San Francisco Bay Area and, although in ruins, the city lacks telepathic mutants and the Méndez holy fallout religion. In the third episode the characters venture through a BART tunnel and see advertisements for San Francisco attractions.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Those Damned Dirty Apes!". Mediacircus.net. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  2. ^ "Natalie Trundy: Monkey Business on the Planet of the Apes". Planet of the Apes (Marvel Comics) (26): 18. April 19, 1975. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ Webb, Gordon C. (July–August 1998). "30 Years Later: Rod Serling's Planet of the Apes". Creative Screenwriting. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Toys You Had Presents Planet of the Apes". Toys You Had. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Natale, Richard (May 6, 2001). "Remaking, Not Aping, an Original". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Collider Visits The Set of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Plus Video Blog". Lussier, Germain. (April 14, 2011). Collider.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  7. ^ Matt Reeves Confirmed to Helm ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’
  8. ^ "Planet of the Apes (1968) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Planet of the Apes (1968)
  10. ^ "Beneath the Planet of the Apes – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
  12. ^ "Escape from the Planet of the Apes – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
  14. ^ "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  15. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
  16. ^ "Battle for the Planet of the Apes – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  18. ^ "Planet of the Apes (2001) – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Planet of the Apes Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  20. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Planet of the Apes (2001)
  21. ^ "Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rotten Tomatoes". Flixter. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Rise of the Planet of the Apes Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ Total Domestic Gross for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
  24. ^ "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Rotten Tomatoes". Flixter. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Reviews – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ William T. Quick (2003). Colony. HarperEntertainment. ISBN 0060086211. 
  27. ^ "Planet of the Apes". BoardGameGeek\accessdate=May 28, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Planet of the Apes". AtariProtos.com. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (May 16, 2001). "Fox's ape-athy". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Planet of the Apes: Fox Interactive brings the classic movie and books to the PlayStation.". IGN. May 13, 1999. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 75 spaceships in movies and TV part 2". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  32. ^ Quoting Dr. Zaius' statements to George Taylor at Dr. Cornelius' archaeological cave in Planet of the Apes.
  33. ^ The Lawgiver's narration at the start of Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and discussed by many characters in that film.

Further reading[edit]

  • Handley, Rich (2009). Timeline of the Planet of the Apes. Hasslein Books. ISBN 978-0615253923.  Includes cover gallery.

External links[edit]