Advertisement

13 Planet Of The Apes Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

12. The Movies Took Everything From It... Except The Story

Boulle's Soror is a very different world to 20th-Century Fox's Planet of the Apes of either the 60s/70s or the 2010s. His orang-utans and chimps are urban sophisticates, while the gorillas are more proletarian, and they live in modern cities filled with skyscrapers. The only concession to their jungle origins are the climbing bars by which they cross the street. But little aspects of his novel still found echoes in the movie franchise: the brain surgery experiments of Planet of the Apes (1968); in Escape From The Planet of the Apes (1971), Dr Zira shows her intelligence under human military observation by making a staircase from building blocks to reach her food - the same test she puts to Ulysse in the novel; in the same movie, the reactionary Dr Hasslein realises the threat posed by Zira and her partner Cornelius: "If they can transmit that distinguishing characteristic to their progeny, all apes will eventually have the ability to speak." It's another inversion of the novel, where the apes fear Ulysse and and feral girl Nova giving birth to a human baby. A more direct reference to the book comes in the chimp couple's recollection of how ape folklore tells of the rise of their species, of how "they performed all the menial tasks that humans insist on having done for them but won't do themselves". In Boulle, they confide similarly to Ulysse of how archaeological research indicates humans once ruled their planet; in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) the ape slave rebellion they spoke of comes to pass - echoed by the insurrection of the vivisected in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011).
Contributor
Contributor

Writer/editor/ghost-writer transfixed by crime, cinema and the serrated edges of popular culture. Those similarly afflicted are invited to make contact.