Planet Of The Apes Hits 50

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most ground-breaking film franchises in sci-fi history. Based on the novel Monkey Planet by Pierre Boulle, on its release in 1968, the film was hailed as one of the best of the decade. A movie that combined social commentary with ground-breaking prosthetics without ever losing track of its prime directive—to entertain. 

That original, starring Hollywood legend Charlton Heston, has since spawned four sequels, a TV series, a remake, and a reboot. 

Jonathan W. Rinzler is that perfect geek-author: a man who both knows his craft and appreciates the source material, having served as executive editor at Lucasfilm and authored The Making of Star Wars, and The Complete Making of Indiana Jones, which was a London Times bestseller. His new book—The Making Of Planet Of The Apes—is an absolute triumph, detailing the story of how some of the greatest talents in Hollywood transformed a French novel into a box-office hit, with both style and panache. 

With a foreword by Fraser Heston, Charlton Heston’s son, Rinzler’s latest work is one hellova an achievement. An entertaining, interactive experience that transports readers to an alternate Earth ruled by apes, while bringing to life the memorable characters who peopled that world of what-ifs.   

Drawing on material from a variety of sources, including early publications and interviews, Fox and Warner Bros. studio archives, and records from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this is a book for fans and film-lovers, with a design that will appeal to both those who want a serious read or a casual flick-through. 

Stand-alone spreads tell a specific story, helping to break down what’s a pretty hefty volume into easy-read, bite-sized chunks. The lush, coffee-table format pulls out all the stops, with 304-pages packed with original sketches, on-set photos, ephemera, merchandise, and in-depth interviews with cast and crew. 

A lot has been written about Planet Of The Apes in the last 50 years, but Jonathan W. Rinzler may well have given us the definitive volume.

The Making Of Planet Of The Apes by Jonathan W. Rinzler is published in hardback on 15th November by Harper Design, priced £45.