The original “Planet of the Apes” was based upon the novel, “La Planète des Singes,” by Pierre Boulle, with a screenplay by Rod Sterling (“Requiem for a Heavyweight,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Night Gallery,” etc). The original film, I can’t speak as much about the sequels (Beneath the Planet of the Apes, “Escape From the Planet of the Apes,” “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” and “Battle for the Planet of the Apes”) except for ‘Conquest,’ which takes the underlying subtext of race relations to a logical–though pessimistic–conclusion.
The films revolved around a dystopian future in which humans are no longer at the top of the food chain–as if that wasn’t bad enough–but the world has been “reset” by nuclear devastation. It has begun to recover, but now various species of simian, who don’t think too highly of the remaining humans, are now running things.
Roles have been reversed, and humans now live primitively, like the animals that we once believed that we were superior to.
As I mentioned, I recall “Contest of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by J. Lee Thompson, which was my favorite.
Tim Burton had a version of “Planet of the Apes” in 2001, but it managed somehow to lose the whole racial subtext, which meant that the film now was no deeper than the surface.
A somewhat cowardly response, though I am not sure it it says anything about the people that view and make movies, or if it was primarily a marketing issue.
The upcoming “Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt, visually looks interesting, but if it has as little to offer as Tim Burton’s version (it doesn’t have to have a racial subtext, though it has to have some subtext beyond the obvious) then I may wait for Netflix streaming.
Though perhaps I am being pessimistic. I will wait till I hear more before I react.
Most people would think that such things cannot exist outside of science fiction, though according to scientists such a scenario may be more possible than any of us think.