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6 Bizarre Origins Of Iconic Twist Movie Endings

5. Planet Of The Apes

The ending that burned itself into pop culture memory with its grandiose, jaw-dropping revelation is an altogether more streamlined version of what it's actually based on. Planet of the Apes was adapted from a French book, see - La Planète des Singes (ten points for translation) - which involved three astronauts travelling light years across the universe. Thanks to time dilation, centuries pass on Earth whilst only two years go by for the crew. They end up landing on a planet where humans exist, but are about as advanced as Neanderthals, with apes being the ruling class - so intelligent that they have their own language. So far, so familiar. The crew, being of sound intelligence, are able to eventually communicate with the apes, becoming celebrities of a sort. They discover that the humans on the planet were once an advanced species, but brought about their own devolution. Eventually the main character, Ulysse, escapes off-planet with his new wife and child, eventually making his way back to earth. When he disembarks his spaceship, he's confronted by a jeep carrying - you guessed it - apes. Not only did the original Planet of the Apes mould this ending into the one people are more familiar with, but Tim Burton's much-maligned 'reimagining' even took cues from it. In doing so, both films actually missed the point of the original text - that on two worlds, humans were responsible for their own demise, with author Pierre Boulle implying that no matter what we do in any reality, we'll always destroy ourselves in the end. That said, the General-Thade-as-Abe-Lincoln ending might make a wee bit more sense now.
Contributor

Cinephile since 1993, aged 4, when he saw his very first film in the cinema - Jurassic Park - which is also evidence of damn fine parenting. World champion at Six Degrees of Separation. Lender of DVDs to cheap mates. Connoisseur of Marvel Comics and its Cinematic Universe.