Chronology of the Planet of the Apes
This weekend, I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
My involvement with the franchise goes back considerably before that, though. I thought it might be interesting to show some of the chronology*, which began close to fifty years ago.
1963: La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle is first published in French in Paris by Juillard. There are significant differences between this and the first movie, but significant elements are preserved (including some character names)
June 1963: An American hardback is published by Vanguard Press, with a translation by Xan Fielding. This version is entitled Planet of the Apes
As early as 1963, Rod Serling begins adapting the book as a screenplay
January 1964: A British hardback (using Fielding’s translation) is published under the title Monkey Planet by Secker & Warburg. Apparently, the word “singes” in French is like “non-human primate” in English…it doesn’t specify apes or monkeys
November 1964: Signet publishes a US paperback copy for fifty cents
1965: Serling submits his script. It will be two years before the funding is raised. Michael Wilson, another screenwriter, also works on the script
1966: Penguin publishes a paperback version (still called Monkey Planet) in England
Up until this point, it doesn’t seem to have made a mainstream impact in the US. There were a couple of reviews in the 1960s before the movie.
May 1967: Filming begins
February 8, 1968: The movie debuts in New York
April 3, 1968: The movie opens wide in the US. It becomes the third biggest US grossing movie of the year, behind 2001: A Space Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet
1969: John Chambers receives an honorary Oscar for his make-up work on the Planet of the Apes movie
1970: Gold Key releases a one-shot comic book of Beneath the Planet of the Apes
May 26, 1970: The second movie, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, opens wide in the US. It isn’t anywhere near as successful as the first movie in the US, but that doesn’t stop the sequels
July 1970: a novelization of Beneath the Planet of the Apes by Michael Avallone is released
May 21, 1971: Escape from the Planet of the Apes is released, with Roddy McDowell returning to the series
June 30, 1972: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is released
June 15, 1973: Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the last of the original series is released in the US. It’s profitable, since it reportedly cost under $2 million to produce (it made about $9 million in the USA…at the time, that’s a good showing)
1973: The “Go Ape” movie marathons show all five movies in movie theatres
1974: Milton Bradley introduces a Planet of the Apes board game
January 1974: A novelization of Escape from the Planet of the Apes by well-known science fiction author Jerry Pournelle is released in paperback by Award
February 1974: A novelization of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes by John Jakes (North and South) is released in paperback by Award
Summer 1974: Mego introduces its line of Planet of the Apes toys
August 1974: Marvel begins a comic book series with original stories…it runs 29 issues, ending in February 1977
September 13, 1974: The live-action TV series, called just Planet of the Apes, debuts. It will last until December of 1974, with some episodes re-cut into TV movies
September 6, 1975: The animated series debuts…it will last until November 29, 1975
October 1975: Marvel begins a comic book adaptation of the first two movies. It runs for 11 issues, ending in December 1976′
September 6, 1998: American Movie Classics celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first movie, and shows a new documentary, Behind the Planet of the Apes
July 27, 2001: The Tim Burton version is released in the USA: it grosses over $180 million in that country, and over $360 million worldwide, on a budget of about $100 million. Rick Baker leads the make-up team…and doesn’t get an Oscar nomination
September 19, 2001: Ubi Soft introduces a Planet of the Apes videogame for PC
November 21, 2001: Ubi Soft introduces a Planet of the Apes videogame for GameBoy
September 2001: Dark Horse comics begins a new comic book series
August 5, 2011: Rise of the Planet of the Apes opens in the US, using motion capture rather than makeup. It is the number one movie of the weekend and gets good reviews
There you go! I couldn’t find a year that Don Post introduced their Planet of the Apes masks (I had one), but it was in the 1970s. I was a bit surprised not to find an official Planet of the Apes role-playing game…that seems like a natural, with different character types and abilities. I found quite a bit of discussion of the idea, though. I haven’t listed many reprints of the novel: you can get more detailed information in the links below. Do you have a nostalgic memory of PotA? Feel free to let me know.
* Note: for a chronology of the events within the Planet of the Apes stories (caution: here be spoilers!), see http://pota.goatley.com/prophecy/timeline.htm
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.