With the recent reboot series, it’s easy to forget how incredibly expansive the Planet of the Apes universe is. Stretching all the way back to its 1963 novel of origin, ‘La Planète des singes’, this notion of apes taking over mankind has become one of pop culture’s most prolific tales of dystopia. As reboot sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hits the big screen this week, there’s plenty for you to do to get geared up for high-octane gorilla warfare.
(1) Watch all FIVE of the original movies
Yes, there were five. Five instalments stretching from 1968 to 1973, including the famous first starring Charlton Heston. Planet of the Apes (1968) kicked it all off, followed by Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). This free-wheeling saga of inter-special war got the ball rolling for the sci-fi genre and innovated hair and make-up technology like never before. If you spend an afternoon ploughing through these gems, you’ll have all the knowledge you’ll need to get those nuggets of homage in this reboot.
(2) Watch the TV series
One year after Battle for the Planet of the Apes, CBS released a 14-episode TV series. Based around the entire five-film series, this series picked up the sci-fi phenomena and replayed it in a different medium and with a different cast. This could be a more practical option than the film-series, but, if you want to be super hardcore, you should watch both before Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
(3) Read the comic
The sci-fi has also had some beautiful comic book treatments to get you into an evolutionary mood. There are reams of graphic renditions out there, including Manga series ‘Saru no Wakusei’ (Planet of Monkeys), but our pick is the Cataclysm series by Boom Studios. This 12-issue series, launched in 2012, takes place 8 years before the human astronaut falls from the sky, thus showing the ape society in its purity. Not only are these issues beautiful showpieces, the exploration of the ape society is very compelling. Doubt any of you will have time for comics (especially at around £10 a pop on Amazon), but this’ll give you an alternative route into the heart of the Planet of the Apes.
(4) Wear a Planet of the Apes mask
The original 1968 film got an honorary award for make-up at the Oscars, why can’t you join in the fun? At the Genesis, we celebrate dress-up, so what are you waiting for? They’re super easy to find online.
(5) Watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Well, that’s an obvious one, isn’t it? The 2011 blockbuster was the first Planet of the Apes flick for nearly four decades, and it went down an absolute treat. James Franco and Andy Serkis’ chemistry was spot-on, as the release of the chemical that boosts the ape’s intelligence signals an haunting uprising. This is surely a minimum requirement before you catch Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and you can pick it up on Amazon for as little as £3.
We’re now showing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3D and Studio 5! Book your tickets at http://www.genesiscinema.co.uk.