Home Movies War for the Planet of the Apes: The reinvention of a classic

War for the Planet of the Apes: The reinvention of a classic

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ is the ninth release in one of the longest running franchises in movie history.

Based on the book by French author Pierre Boulle, ’Planet of the Apes’ came out in 1968.

It starred Charlton Heston as Taylor, an astronaut stranded on a planet in the distant future where apes are the dominant species—while humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

The movie was a huge hit, both at the box office and with critics.

It was also the first film ever, in which a make-up artist received an honorary Oscar, which went to John Chambers.

But ‘Planet of the Apes’ is probably best remembered for it’s ending, one of the most iconic images in movie history—Taylor discovering a ruined Statue of Liberty, and realising he’s been on earth all along.

‘Planet of the Apes’ was followed by four sequels between 1970 and 1973; ‘Beneath the Planet of the Apes’, ‘Escape from…’, ‘Conquest of…’ and ‘Battle for…’.

And while they all fared well at the box office, most received poor reviews with the exception of ‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes’.

After getting stuck in development hell, nearly thirty years later, in 2001, 20th Century Fox released a Tim Burton-directed remake of ’Planet of the Apes.’

It was another financial hit, taking $360 million worldwide according to Box Office Mojo, and while many critics said the film couldn’t be compared to the original, it’s visual effects were praised—as illustrated in this cameo from Heston.

A decade later, in 2011 ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ was released.

Some fans and bloggers described the film as a remake of 1972’s ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,’ but most, including the Internet Movie Database describe it as a prequel to, as well as a reboot of the original film.

The storyline focused on how a substance, designed to help the brain repair itself, gives rises to a super intelligent chimp—who leads an ape uprising.

Again it featured jaw-dropping special effects by the team at Weta Digital——and Andy Serkis’s performance of Caesar, the lead chimp, was described as “mesmerising” in Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus.

Three years later a sequel was released, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’.

Set ten years after ‘Rise…’ by now the virus that increased the intelligence of the apes, has killed most humans, and Caesar struggles to maintain peace as the apes are drawn into a war with those who’ve survived.

It was met with critical acclaim; matching Rotten Tomatoes 90-percent aggregate review score for the original 1968 film…

And bettered the worldwide box office total of the previous film, taking $710 million, compared with the previous film’s $480 million.

In ‘War For The Planet of the Apes’ the battle against the humans continues as Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

It’s a film in which again Weta Digital blur the lines between what is and isn’t real.