Last Wednesday, Boom! Studios released a new Planet of the Apes comic book series. According to editor Ian Brill, the new series is set in continuity with the five original films, and takes place some 1200 before Taylor “fell from the stars.” The art is real nice and it’s in color. The story? Too soon to tell. I will say I’m more impressed so far than I was with Revolution on the Planet of the Apes, the six-issue mini-series published in 2005-6 by Mr. Comics. I read that one and I remember discussing it here, but I don’t remember much about it, other than that I didn’t particularly care for it. Anyone here remember that one? (I know Mark read it.) Anyone here reading this new series by writer Daryl Gregory and artist Carlos Magno.

I was surprised (and oddly pleased) to learn this weekend that a new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is going to open August 5.

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Also his mis-ape-phropy as well!

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I know why he did it, I just think of all the wildlife and other life on Earth that he obliterated because he was angry.  Taylor's misantrhopy was self justifying.



I'd be interested in hearing what that answer is ... maybe ...

The book does a good job of melding real scientific theory (Einstein’s Theory of Relativity) with fictional scientific theory (the Hasslein Curve). For example, the accident which threw the Icarus (or Liberty 1, if you prefer) off course (and also, incidentally, created the crack in Lt. Stewart’s hibernation pod) was caused by the near collision of the Icarus with itself (with Cornelius, Zira and Milo aboard) travelling in the opposite direction along the same curve. In a classic paradox, the curve was “opened” by the Icarus travelling along the curve in different directions simultaneously (as I interpret it).

Landon himself awakens in Dr. Galen’s lab unable to speak and postulates that something in the fruit he ate
(but Taylor did not) constricts the vocal cords (which also helps explain why the indigenous human population cannot speak). Also, the mutants in the Forbidden Zone are using their mental powers to probe Landon’s mind, and the back story is thus revealed via a series of flashbacks.

He just wanted to make sure that he wasn't in anymore sequels! That's why Escape took place in the then-present to save on the budget!

Taylor or Charlton Heston? Actually, Charlton Heston wasn’t all that hip on doing even one sequel, and agreed only because he appeared only at the very beginning and the very end. You’re right, too, about the budget. As a matter of record, as an example of typical Hollywood reasoning, the budgets grew successively smaller as the series went on.
And I think Heston insisted as a condition of his involvement, that the 2nd film end with the whole planet blowing up, so that there couldn't be anymore sequels at all.
Figserello said:
And I think Heston insisted as a condition of his involvement, that the 2nd film end with the whole planet blowing up, so that there couldn't be anymore sequels at all.

"Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn." -- Alfred Pennyworth, The Dark Knight
Figs has it right. The story as I understand it is that Heston, as much as he enjoyed doing the first film, saw a sequel as pointless. While the production team could not get the okay for a sequel without him. The compromise was for Heston to play only a bit part, and so the script was tweaked to have a second astronaut on a rescue mission take the bulk of the performance intended for Heston. The other condition Charlton Heston demanded was that he set off the bomb to destroy the planet, assuming that would also destroy any chance of further sequels. Silly boy!
Then he ended up playing an ape in the Tim Burton version!

The chapter I read last night was about Cornelius’ first archeological expedition to the Forbidden Zone. There had been a huge unnatural storm the night before, with red lightening filling the sky, and in the morning Milo discovered something (presumably the Icarus) had been washed into more shallow water. It’s still completely submerged, but it can be clearly seen from the surface and could be dragged onto shore. Unfortunately, Dr. Zaius shuts down the expedition before Milo can do anything about it. (Incidentally, Milo’s cousin Liet is married to Dr. Galen.)

In the movie, most of the exterior shots of Ape City and the surrounding countryside (not to mention M*A*S*H) were shot on location at the [20th Century] Fox Ranch, now Malibu Creek State Park. But the “inland sea” in which the Icarus crashed is actually Lake Powell near Page, Arizona. It’s a good thing (for Milo) that the Icarus didn’t crash in the real Lake Powell, because it’s 300 feet deep!
Some of the location work for the Tim Burton version -- notably, the scene where Leo and his band ride through the ape encampment and cross the river -- was also filmed on Lake Powell.  Apparently, it was a big hassle because cast, crew and everything else had to be ferried across the lake to site.
The original movie was never intended to have a sequel, but it made money, so…

The first sequel was never intended to have a sequel, but it made money, so…

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, the budget for each film in the series was less than the one before.

On another topic, if one were to compare the original novel to the movie, one would find quite a few changes were made from the printed page to the big screen. If one were to pretend that the movie was based on Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, one might complain about how much was left out: “The movie barely followed Landon, and General Ursus, Milo and the mutants in the Forbidden Zone weren’t in it at all!”
I don’t have much to say about ISSUE #6 of the new series, other than that I’m enjoying. As I mentioned before, it’s less the “part two” of the “second” story (as it is described) than it is the sixth part overall. All of the POTA comics series, including this one, take place in the original universe of the five films [except possibly (but I doubt it) the ones released in the wake of the Tim Burton movie, which I have not read]. I think that’s largely because neither of the two recent movies have captured the imagination of the public the way the original series did, nor have either spawned a sequel… at least not yet. Rise set one up, but whether or not anything comes of it remains to be seen.

There is a line from ROTPOTA which captured my imagination, though, about the apes eventually adopting their own religion. It would be nearly impossible to reconcile the new movie with the originals, except I could see Zira, Cornelius and Caesar being the Mary, Joseph and Jesus of an ape-based mythology within the new continuity.
ISSUE #7: Hulss steps from out of the background to become a more rounded supporting character this issue. I still think this is the best POTA comic since Moench and Gulacy.

Speaking of the new movies’ inability to spawn their own series, I think a remake of the original based on Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes would be great! It would do a much better job of fleshing out the background elements which the first two sequels were based on and the original movie never had, thus setting up revamped sequels of its own.
BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES #1: Unlike the main series (which is set some 1200 years before the original movie), this four-issue mini-series is set a mere 20 years prior. Ape City is drawn directly from the sets of the original movie, and the story features a young Ursus as well as a Zaius who is the junior member of the Council. As an additional twist, the main character is a gorilla who is sympathetic to the cause of human rights. Lots of political intrigue in this one so far. I’m hooked.
I just read it and I agree. Great first issue and an intriguing premise. It looks like a storyboard for a POTA prequel!

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