Continuity of the APES
The two PLANET OF THE APES prequels, 2011’s RISE OF and 2014’s DAWN OF, have been straight-up excellent, and there is every reason to be hopeful that the upcoming WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, due out in summer 2017, will be of comparable quality. The prequels can be enjoyed on their own; it isn’t necessary for one to be a fan of, or to have even seen, the original series of films. For those of us who are fans of the latter movies, though, the connections between the new series and the original are an excuse for gleeful geeking-out—and the new films ARE a part of the same series of movies. They ARE direct prequels, leading into the events of the 1968 classic Charlton Heston-starring PLANET OF THE APES. You even get to see the spacecraft carrying Charlton’s character blasting off on a news report in RISE OF, if you’re paying attention. (Tim Burton’s massive misfire of a remake in 2001, featuring Marky Mark Wahlberg in possibly his worst onscreen performance, notable only for the strong performances given by its supposed-to-be-apes actors, is NOT canonical and is otherwise best forgotten. As an aside, how much do you think Marky Mark wishes people would forget that he ever used that name?)
The connections between the original series and the new one will be strengthened in the upcoming film, as it has been revealed that character Nova, Charlton’s non-speaking squeeze from the very first film will be making an appearance in WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Naturally, a different actress will be cast in the role, and considering she’s just a kid in this flick, it’s doubtful she’ll be rocking the animal-skin bikini worn by Linda Harrison in the original series.