September 1975: Someone still thinks Apes belong on the small screen, so the animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes premieres on NBC and hangs around for 13 weeks. Interestingly, its technologically advanced ape society is much closer to the one originally conceived all the way back in Boulle's novel.
February 1983: A virus brought back from space leads to the deaths of all cats and dogs on Earth.
July 1983: Distraught over the loss of their pets, humans begin adopting apes to replace them.
November 1984: A critical U.S election during a time of increased international tensions leads to a complete change in the American system of government, with the United States becoming a totalitarian state (we're not sure if this is totally fictional, actually).
1984 - 1991: Apes begin taking on domestic tasks — at first simple household chores, and then more complex manual-labor duties, eventually becoming slaves to homo sapiens.
Late 1988: The first inklings of a Planet of the Apes reboot get underway at Fox. Adam Rifkin is hired to write and direct at one point before Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh — in their pre-The Lord of the Rings days — also make a pitch to revive the franchise. Neither one gets any traction.
July 1991: The child of Cornelius and Zira, now named Caesar, arrives in an unnamed city and, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up becoming the leader of an ape revolution.
January 1992: As the ape revolution spreads across the world, someone has the bright idea that nuclear weapons may stop it, so a worldwide nuclear war is launched. Caesar leads a group of humans and apes to safety in a rural area far outside the population centers.
Early 1993 - February 1995: Oliver Stone comes on board as director of a new Planet of the Apes; his idea has something to do with cryogenically frozen simians and the Bible code. Next up are director Philip Noyce and screenwriter Terry Hayes, whose Return of the Apes script follows a geneticist named Will Robinson into the ancient past, where he learns an intelligent ape civilization has planted a secret virus into human DNA that will eventually wipe it out. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs on to play Robinson, but according to Hollywood legend, the project collapses when a studio exec insists on a scene of Arnold teaching the apes to play baseball.
Late 1995 - Mid-1998: The parade of directors and scripts continues as Fox keeps trying to relaunch the Apes franchise. Chris Columbus, James Cameron, Peter Jackson again, Michael Bay (ugh) and Roland Emmerich all take their turns at bat.
October 1998: Roddy McDowall, the actor most associated with the franchise who appeared in all five original Apes films (albeit in a flashback in Beneath) and the live-action TV series, dies peacefully at home in Los Angeles.
February 2000: Tim Burton is hired to direct the new version of Planet of the Apes.
July 2001: Burton's film, starring Mark Wahlberg as astronaut Leo Davidson and Tim Roth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Paul Giamatti as apes, opens in theaters. It grosses $362 million worldwide despite a silly, somewhat dull script that includes perhaps the most nonsensical ending in the entire franchise.
2006: Inspired by an article about pet chimpanzees not acclimating well to their households, screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver begin penning an Apes origin story called Caesar.
June 2011: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, written by Jaffa and Silver and directed by Rupert Wyatt, opens and is an immediate success. A loose remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, it chronicles the beginnings of the ape rebellion. Andy Serkis plays Caesar in a stunning motion-capture performance that elevates the form to a new level and makes everyone forget James Franco was actually the star.
October 2012: Rupert Wyatt is replaced by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) as the director for the next film in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
July 2014: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, starring Serkis as Caesar, along with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Toby Kebbell, arrives in theaters. Early reviews describe it as being even better than Rise.
July 2016: The third entry in the new Apes series is scheduled to come out, with Reeves once again directing and Serkis playing Caesar for a third go-round.
61 Reasons to Love 2014
November 3954: Taylor's ship crash-lands into the sea. He and his surviving crewmates are captured by gorillas.
January 3955: Taylor is put on trial by the apes, but Cornelius and Zira help him escape. In the Forbidden Zone, he discovers the ruins of the Statue of Liberty and realizes he's been home the entire time. You maniacs! You blew it up!
February 3955: Astronaut Brent shows up and eventually discovers that Taylor has been taken prisoner by the telepathic mutants living underground in New York City. Mortally wounded in the ensuing battle between apes and mutants, Taylor basically says "fuck it" and presses the button that blows up the world, ensuring that no more Apes movies will be made. Little did he know….
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies
Picks From Around the Web
blog comments powered by Disqus