Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction media franchise consisting of films, books, television series, comics, and other media about a world in which humans and intelligent apes clash for control. The series began with French author Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel La Planète des Singes, translated into English as Planet of the Apes or Monkey Planet. The 1968 film adaptation, Planet of the Apes, was a critical and commercial hit, initiating a series of sequels, tie-ins, and derivative works. Arthur P. Jacobs produced the series under APJAC Productions until his death in 1973; since then 20th Century Fox has owned the franchise.
Four sequels followed the original film between 1970 and 1973: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. They did not approach the critical acclaim of the original, but were commercially successful. The series also spawned two television series in 1974 and 1975. Plans for a film remake stalled in "development hell" for over 10 years before Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was released in 2001. A new reboot film series commenced in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was followed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014 and War for the Planet of the Apes in 2017. The films have grossed a total of over $1.8 billion worldwide, against a combined budget of $567.5 million. Other media and merchandising tie-ins include books, comics, video games, and toys.
La Planète des Singes (1963 Novel)
The series began with French author Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel La Planète des Singes. Boulle wrote the novel in six months after the "humanlike expressions" of gorillas at the zoo inspired him to contemplate the relationship between man and ape. La Planète des Singes was heavily influenced by 18th- and 19th-century fantastical travel narratives, especially Jonathan Swift's satirical Gulliver's Travels. It is one of several of Boulle's works to use science fiction tropes and plot devices to comment on the failings of human nature and mankind's overreliance on technology. However, Boulle rejected the science fiction label for his work, instead terming it "social fantasy".
The novel is a social satire following French journalist Ulysse Mérou, who participates in a voyage to a distant planet where speechless, animalistic humans are hunted and enslaved by an advanced society of apes. Eventually Mérou discovers that humans once dominated the planet until their complacency allowed the more industrious apes to overthrow them. The novel's central message is that human intelligence is not a fixed quality and could atrophy if taken for granted. Boulle considered the novel one of his minor works, though it proved to be a hit. Xan Fielding translated it into English; it was published in the United Kingdom as Monkey Planet and in the United States as Planet of the Apes.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. It stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. The screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling was loosely based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. Jerry Goldsmith composed the groundbreaking avant-garde score. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, all produced by Arthur P. Jacobs and released by 20th Century Fox. Planet of the Apes was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
The story follows Franciscus' character Brent, an astronaut who inadvertently follows Taylor into the future while searching for him. After encountering the apes from the first film, Brent finds Taylor imprisoned by a colony of subterranean human mutants who worship an ancient nuclear bomb. Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, and Linda Harrison returned as Zira, Zaius, and Nova. David Watson replaced Roddy McDowall as Cornelius, as McDowall was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. James Gregory played gorilla General Ursus and Paul Richards played mutant leader Méndez. The film opened on May 26, 1970. Unlike the first film, Beneath was poorly reviewed; critics typically regard it as the worst of the Apes sequels other than the fifth film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes. However, it was a major box office hit, nearing the original's numbers. Despite a conclusion depicting the planet's nuclear destruction, Fox requested another sequel, creating a series.
Charlton Heston was uninterested in a sequel, but agreed to shoot a few scenes if his character were killed off and his salary donated to charity.
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 science fiction film directed by Don Taylor and written by Paul Dehn. It stars Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman and Ricardo Montalbán. It is the third of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, the second being Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). Its plot centers on many social issues of the day including scientific experimentation on animals, nuclear war and government intrusion. The film was well received by critics, getting the best reviews of the four Planet of the Apes sequels. It was followed by Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson and written by Paul Dehn. It is the fourth of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs. The film stars Roddy McDowall, Don Murray and Ricardo Montalbán. It explores how the apes rebelled from humanity's ill treatment following Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). It was followed by Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a 1973 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson. It is the fifth and final entry in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, following Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. It stars Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, Paul Williams and John Huston.
Planet of the Apes (1974 TV Series)
Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction television series that aired on CBS in 1974. The series stars Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard and Booth Colman. It is based on the 1968 Planet of the Apes film and its sequels, which were inspired by the novel "Planet of the Apes" by Pierre Boulle.
Return to the Planet of the Apes (Animated)
Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series, by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises in association with 20th Century Fox Television, based upon Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. Boulle's novel had previously inspired five films and a TV series, beginning with the 1968 film Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston. Unlike the film, its sequels, and the 1974 live action TV series, which involved a primitive ape civilization, Return to the Planet of the Apes depicted a technologically advanced society, complete with automobiles, film, and television; as such it more closely resembled both Boulle's original novel and early concepts for the first Apes movie which were changed due to budgetary limitations in the late 1960s.
Produced following the last of the big-screen features and a short-lived live-action television series, this series was among the last Planet of the Apes projects for several years following a number of comic books from Marvel Comics (August 1974 – February 1977) and a series of audio adventures from Power Records in 1974. Aside from a number of comic book series published by Malibu Comics in the early 1990s, the next project based upon Boulle's concepts would be Tim Burton's reimagining in 2001.
Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001)
Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estella Warren. The sixth film produced in the Planet of the Apes franchise, it was loosely adapted from Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel of the same name and the 1968 film version. It tells the story of astronaut Leo Davidson crash-landing on a planet inhabited by intelligent apes. The apes treat humans as slaves, but with the help of an ape named Ari, Leo starts a rebellion.
Development for a Planet of the Apes remake started as far back as 1988 with Adam Rifkin. His project nearly reached the pre-production stage before being canceled. Terry Hayes's script, titled Return of the Apes, would have starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, under the direction of Phillip Noyce. Oliver Stone, Don Murphy, and Jane Hamsher were set to produce. Creative differences ensued between Hayes and financier/distributor 20th Century Fox. Chris Columbus, Sam Hamm, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, and the Hughes brothers later became involved.
With William Broyles, Jr.'s script, Burton was hired as director, and the film was put into active development. Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal rewrote the script, and filming took place from November 2000 to April 2001. Planet of the Apes was released to mixed reviews, but was a financial success. Much criticism focused on the confusing plot and ending, although Rick Baker's prosthetic makeup designs were praised. Despite its financial success, 20th Century Fox chose not to produce a sequel, and later rebooted the franchise in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 American science fiction film directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, and Andy Serkis. Written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, it is 20th Century Fox's reboot of the Planet of the Apes series, intended to act as an origin story for a new series of films. Its premise is similar to the fourth film in the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), but it is not a direct remake of that film.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released on August 5, 2011, to critical and commercial success. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for five Saturn Awards including Best Director for Wyatt and Best Writing for Jaffa and Silver, winning Best Science Fiction Film, Best Supporting Actor for Serkis and Best Special Effects. Serkis's performance as Caesar was widely acclaimed, earning him many nominations from associations which do not usually recognize performance capture as traditional acting. A sequel to the film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was released on July 11, 2014, and a third film, War for the Planet of the Apes, was released on July 14, 2017.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. It stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It is the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which began 20th Century Fox's reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series. Dawn is set ten years after the events of Rise, and follows a group of people in San Francisco who struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was released in the United States on July 11, 2014 and was met with highly positive reviews, with critics praising its visual effects, story, direction, acting, musical score, action and emotional depth. It was also a box office success, grossing over $710 million worldwide, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. A third installment, titled War for the Planet of the Apes, was released on July 14, 2017.
War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves, and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot series. The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows a confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth. Like its predecessor, its premise shares several similarities to the fifth film in the original series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, but it is not a direct remake.
Principal photography began on October 14, 2015, in Vancouver. War for the Planet of the Apes premiered in New York City on July 10, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 14, 2017, by 20th Century Fox. The film has grossed over $278 million and received critical praise, with many reviewers highlighting the acting (particularly Serkis), visual effects, story, musical score, action sequences and direction.
Planet of the Apes Sequel #4 (TBA)
In October 2016, it was announced that a fourth Planet of the Apes film is already being planned.