Chronology of the Planet of the Apes

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.

References

RodSerling.com

Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) on PotA

http://planetoftheapes.wikia.com/wiki/La_Plan%C3%A8te_des_singes

Big Comic Book Database listing for PotA

Hunter’s Planet of the Apes Archives

Planet of the Apes Wiki at Wikia

The 6 Best (and 6 Most Ridiculous) Pieces of Planet of the Apes Merchandise

PotA Wikia on Ubi Soft PC game

Board Game Geek

Mego Museum

Planet of the Apes Wikia on the Ubi Soft GameBoy game

 

* 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.

One Response to “Chronology of the Planet of the Apes”

  1. My take on Rise of the Planet of the Apes « The Measured Circle Says:

    […] « Hey, Burn Notice! How about casting John Saxon as Sam Axe’s father? Chronology of the Planet of the Apes […]

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