Planet Of The Apes: The Evo­lu­tion Of The Legend

Simian saga scru­ti­nised

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books - Ian Berriman

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

256 pages | Hard­back Au­thors: Joe Ford­ham, Jeff Bond Pub­lisher: Ti­tan Books Some­thing of a game of two halves, this over­view of the Apes movies takes a tag- team ap­proach, us­ing two writ­ers to cover dis­tinct pe­ri­ods of fran­chise his­tory.

In­evitably it’s the ear­lier chap­ters by Joe Ford­ham that are more com­pelling – the older a film is, the more likely it is in­ter­est­ing de­tails will have emerged. In­ter­weav­ing in­ter­views old and new, Ford­ham‘ s ac­count is par­tic­u­larly ab­sorb­ing when dis­cussing vari­ant drafts or movies that never were – did you know, for ex­am­ple, that the first film was due to end with Charl­ton He­ston’s hero shot dead by a go­rilla? Or that the fourth was orig­i­nally planned as a par­tial adap­ta­tion of Fred Hoyle’s 1957 novel The Black Cloud? Jeff Bond drew the short straw: the gig of cov­er­ing the last two movies. Even the best jour­nal­ist strug­gles to weave cap­ti­vat­ing ma­te­rial from the nuts and bolts of mo­tion cap­ture, and the re­sults in­escapably tend to­wards the dry.

Trea­sures from the Fox ar­chives com­pen­sate, though. Con­cept art of ape he­li­copters! Pho­tos of make- up tests – in­clud­ing a dis­carded mu­tant/ ape cross­breed! Ape ex­tras play­ing cards! But a clip around the ear, please, for the de­signer who en­sured that so many be­hind- thescenes shots are printed eye-strain­ingly small ( se­ri­ously, five cen­time­tres square?!). Be pre­pared to spend rather too much time squint­ing. Dur­ing the ini­tial record­ing ses­sion for the orig­i­nal film’s score, com­poser Jerry Gold­smith con­ducted wear­ing an ape mask.

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