May 22, 2010

"Planet of the Apes" prequel coming

I first saw news of this over at the awesome Screen Rant site: James "Green Goblin" Franco will star in a "Planet of the Apes" prequel that

... is designed to be show the modern-day event that set in motion the eventual dominance of apes over humans seen the classic 1960s and '70s movies.

Um, if that's the case, there's a problem: it's already been done! Do the brains behind this flick know that there were several sequels to the Charlton Heston-led classic movie from 1968? It seems not:

Rupert Wyatt is on board to direct the feature project, which focuses on a scientist (Franco) who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's that is being tested on apes. The test subject named Caesar starts to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors.

But that's not how it happened. As shown in "Escape From the Planet of the Apes," Caesar was born in his past because his parents (Cornelius and Zira) traveled back in time in Taylor's (Heston's) repaired spaceship. They journeyed back some 2000 years. Caesar was intelligent because his parents were, not because of some human scientist's meddling. In the films it is implied that ape intelligence had been gained 1) due to the two millenia which had passed since Taylor's launch, 2) the excessive radiation from the nuclear war (which led to [intelligence-creating] mutations), and 3) Caesar showing his fellow simians what they were capable of. Because ...

... in "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" (the sequel to "Escape"), Caesar is grown up and his secret of intelligence is known only to his "handler." It is explained that a virus had killed all dogs and cats so humans have taken to using simians as pets and servants. Shocked and disgusted by how humans treat their apes, and then vengeful after his handler is murdered, Caesar goes about setting in the motion the ape "revolution."

"Rise of the Apes" would do better to play in the "reimagined" ape universe spawned from the original's 2001 remake. Why ruin a classic franchise's back-story?

Posted by Hube at May 22, 2010 11:46 AM | TrackBack

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