Journey to the Center of the ‘Planet of the Apes’: A Franchise History

Dibs on that title.
War for the Planet of the Apes
By  · Published on July 17th, 2017

Did you know that Planet of the Apes started out as a novel? And did you know that novel was written by the same French author, Pierre Boulle, who also wrote The Bridge Over the River Kwai? Or what about this one: did you know that the iconic ending of the first film wasn’t a part of the novel but rather was thought up by Rod Serling, the guy who created The Twilight Zone?

These are just a few of the facts that make the story behind the Planet of the Apes franchise just as fascinating as the various chapters of the onscreen saga. And given that the latest installment War for the Planet of the Apes dominated the global box office this past weekend, I thought you guys might be interested in an all-in look at the history, development, and reception of the franchise, so I went out and found this excellent video from Blake Faucette and Matthew Williams (for their Distractotron YouTube Channel) that covers the subject like a hazmat suit: totally.

Faucette and Williams move through every single one of the Apes pictures including, yes, the Tim Burton abomination and the mega-successful new trilogy, along the way revealing behind-the-scenes secrets and production trivia that make this already-beloved franchise all the more fascinating.

So whether you’ve already seen War for the Planet of the Apes or it’s still on your to-watch list, check out this supplemental primer on all things Apes for a look at the evolution – pun intended – of one of Hollywood’s greatest franchises.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist