What would YOU title the next 'Planet of the Apes' movie?

Our neighborhood Blockbuster did not exactly have a sparkling selection of cinematic classics. It was rare to find a film made before 1970. The foreign-film section was mostly bad martial-arts non-classics; actually, the store probably had more Shannon Tweed movies than subtitled movies. You could find the 1998 TV-Movie Rear Window, starring Christopher Reeves and Daryl Hannah, but you could not find the somewhat-better-known 1954 film version, starring James Stewart and Daryl Hannah and directed by Alfred Freaking Hitchcock. But I can’t hate on my old Blockbuster too much, because it gave me one cinematic treasure that I still value to this day: The Planet of the Apes series.

I had been a fan of the original film since I was a kid — I was so young when I saw it that I was actually surprised by the ending, which I think is probably impossible after you turn 6. But over the course of one glorious week in my early teens, I caught up with the rest of the series. Now, you can quibble about the later films — none of them comes even close to the original, although I have an abiding love for the second film — but there is one thing that is undeniable: The titles of the Apes movies are awesome. Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and the franchise-capping Battle for the Planet of the Apes — each title conjures up a gloriously pulp-tastic aesthetic. And even better, there’s not a colon in the bunch!

Tim Burton’s 2001 Apes reimagining lamely opted out of adding an exciting new noun or preposition to the mix. But surely part of the appeal of the just-released reboot is that it continues the trend with the similarly bombastic title Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In light of Rise‘s box office performance, another Apes movie seems likely. When I spoke to Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, the Rise screenwriting duo, they were mostly mum on sequel plans, but they did confirm the need for what Silver called “a cheesy-but-fun noun” in the title. Jaffa suggested Revenge on the Planet of the Apes. In the comment boards of that post, Shannon Nutt suggested Triumph of the Planet of the Apes (which is awesome), while Glenn suggested Evolution of the Planet of the Apes (which is awesome, but it would anger the all-important Creationist demographic, so consider it unlikely.)

Here are some of my own ideas, plus some quick elevator pitches:

Across the Planet of the Apes In the wake of the events at the end of Rise [SPOILER ALERT], as human civilization collapses around them, Caesar (played by Andy Serkis) has to lead his band of refugee primates from the woods of Northern California back to the safety of their home in the Congo. Tensions run high when Caesar agrees to work with a surviving band of plague-ridden humans, led by a man named MacDonald (Anthony Mackie.)

Above the Planet of the Apes A century after the events in Rise, a descendant of Caesar named Octavian (played by Andy Serkis) becomes a fighter pilot in the war between plucky Afro-European chimpanzees and evil British bonobos. Tensions run high when Octavian meets his new co-pilot: A hotshot named Brent (Tom Hardy), one of the few remaining humans on Earth.

Inquisition on the Planet of the Apes In an exciting tale that doubles as a religious allegory, a descendant of Caesar named Tiberius (played by Andy Serkis) is a scientist hunted by the government for his controversial studies into human/ape evolution. Tensions run high when Tiberius has to depend on a human rebel leader named Armando (Joseph Gordon-Levitt.)

Madness of the Planet of the Apes A descendant of Caesar named Caligula (played by Andy Serkis) rules over a semi-utopian ape civilization, in which science has advanced to nearly unthinkable heights. Tensions run high when a time-traveling human from the early 21st century named Milo (Taylor Lautner) accidentally introduces the apes to smart-phones, thus creating a society of idiot creatures who can’t stop playing Words with Friends.

Homicide on the Planet of the Apes A descendant of Caesar named Claudius (played by Andy Serkis) has to solve a serial murder mystery in New Ape City. Tensions run high when his investigation leads him into the Human District of Old Brooklyn, presided over by the brutal Governor Kolp (Stellan Skarsgard.)

Planets of the Apes A descendant of Caesar named Nero (played by Andy Serkis) leads a space fleet against a human colony on Mars, and it’s up to the noble human colonist named Taylor (played, why not, by Andy Serkis) to rescue his species from the Ape Invaders.

This is fun! PopWatchers, do you have any Apes titles in your back pocket? Tell, tell! And if you can include some sort of real-world resonance, all the better. (Recession of the Planet of the Apes, anyone?)

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich


Comments (171 total) Add your comment
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  • Regina George

    I like Triumph of the Planet of the Apes.

    • Big Walt

      Clash of the Planet of the Apes.
      Temptation of the Planet of the Apes.

      • Craig Livingstone

        ‘The Ape Within Us’

      • Tom

        Planet of the WAKE ME WHEN ITS OVER apes.

    • Big Walt

      And shouldn’t the series logically end with Fall of the Planet of the Apes?

      • Patrice

        Earth Apes Are Easy

    • Steve Attri

      Planet of Too Many Movies About the Planet of the Apes

      • boi

        Revenge of the Nerds on the Planet of the Apes

      • Kurt

        Fast Times at Conquest of the Apes in my Pants

    • Rush

      The Grape Ape.

      • Shiny Peter

        Tiny Brain; Big Monkey Body; Career at Suncoast

  • Michael Sacal

    Rule of The Planet of the Apes

    Empire of the Planet of the Apes

    • Michael Sacal

      Armageddon on The Planet of The Apes

      Rapture on The Planet of The Apes

  • Michael Sacal

    CSI: Planet of The Apes

  • John

    The Help, Part II?

    • loop

      WOW!!! So wrong. Funny, but wrooooooong.

    • Seth

      O.O <—My reaction.

    • esquirrel

      How about John’s Brokeback Mountain of the Apes?

    • Mike K

      That just made me laugh

    • Shiny Peter

      Driving Mrs Planet of the Apes

  • Michael Sacal

    What I want to see plot-wise is how power shifted from Caesar, a chimpanzee who lead the revolution, to the orangutans, who, by the time Taylor arrived on Earth, had taken over and ran the council, while other chimpanzees, like Cornelious and Zira, were treated like second class citizens, almost like they were humans.

    Even in the original timeline, when it was Aldo (who in Conquest and Battle was a gorilla) who first said no to humans, power still shifted from him to the orangutans.

    How did that happen?

    Maybe “Civil War on The Planet Of The Apes”. Let’s meet Caesar’s Casca. “Ides of March on The Planet of The Apes”

    • Meli

      Well here in the South we wouldn’t refer to it as the ‘Civil War on the Planet of the Apes’. It would be retitled ‘War Between the States on the Planet of the Apes.’

      • esquirrel

        Good one.

      • JMB in FL

        No, no… “War of Northern Orangutan Aggression on the Planet of the Apes.”

      • Shiny Peter

        Planet of the Apes vs. Dixieland

    • Michael Sacal

      Let’s also see when and how apes started wearing clothes.

      In Conquest, the humans clothed the animals and had them wear colors reminiscent of their positions in the future, but here apes are still naked. Why and under which circumstances would they decide to wer clothes. Do they become aware of their nudity and learn shame, or something?

    • Kim

      In the next movie I want to see the apes taking complete control over the humans and then you see the power shift from human to apes. Granted in this version humans didn’t make apes their slaves but that could be changed to be more focused on humans performing animal testing on apes..putthing them on display in the circus..things like that. I think it would be cool to have the movie end with the same line that Ceasar uses at the end of Conquest “But now… now we will put away our hatred. Now we will put down our weapons. We have passed through the night of the fires, and those who were our masters are now our servants. And we, who are not human, can afford to be humane. Destiny is the will of God, and if it is Man’s destiny to be dominated, it is God’s will that he be dominated with compassion, and understanding. So, cast out your vengeance. Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Apes!”

      • Kim

        So the name of the movie should be Birth of the Planet of the Apes.

      • Michael Sacal

        I’m not convinced that apes would believe in God like humans do. The premise of POTA is EVOLUTION flipped on its head, and evolution doesn’t go hand in hand with theology.

        The apes gained their intelligence through Will’s drug, Since is what lead them to evolve from the animals they were into the conquerors and thinking individuals they become.

      • Michael Sacal

        Urgh, that should be “Science is what lead them to evolve”

      • Kat

        @Michael Sacal: Evolution and religion can get along just fine. CREATIONISM and evolution don’t. I had a professor who made that very clear on my first day of biological anthropology. I used to teach a university course on human evolution, I have a M.A. in paleoanthropology and archaeology, and I’m happily a member of a major religious denomination. Science and religion are not enemies. So that said, and to get back to your main point – I think it would be more interesting/poignant if they developed in the way that humans have. Some are atheists, some have sought to find greater meaning through a spiritual philosophy, and some are raging religious nuts. That’s what happened with our human minds. I would assume that if nonhuman apes developed human-like minds, they would do human-like things with them, and one of the strictly Homo sapiens behaviors that we see evidence of (starting around the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, about 35-40,000 years ago) is ritual behavior, aka spirituality or religious beliefs.

      • Larry

        It should be titled Death of a really original concept of the Apes

  • Rhys

    There is an unexpected mutation with fruit.

    Planet of the Grapes.

    • Willie martz

      The plot would be that the apes after eating the mutated ffruit for several generations would have doubled in size and their fur would have taken on a purple hue.
      “The Planet of the Grape Apes”.

      • Taz

        Grape ape, totally a hannah barbara cartoon! Can we add in snaggletooth and droopy????

      • Kurt

        Planet of the Apes Does Dallas

  • Fog cue

    Monkey In The Middle

    • Larry

      A love story of Fog cue’s conception as a child.

  • Michael Sacal

    “Feces Overflow on Planet of The Apes”

  • Ted

    APES 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO!

    • WIDTAP

      That should be –

      Apes 2: Electric Bonobo.

      You’re welcome.

  • Meg

    Planet of the Apes: They All Fall Down.

  • Seth

    My Only Idea:
    Empire Of The Planet Of The Apes. (Bland, I know.)

    I really like the idea for Inquisition Of The Planet Of The Apes. I’d go see it.

  • ian

    Apes of Wrath

    • Doug Spier

      The Planet Goes Ape

      “Apes of Wrath” wins

  • Meli

    ‘Inquisition of the Planet of the Apes’ would have a spectacularly glorious moment: Tiberius and Armando can be arguing a philosophical point between Human and Ape when Armando could say, huffily, ‘When we started this conversation I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition’. Just then Apes wearing Cardinal robes could burst in, announcing, ‘NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!’

    • Dante

      I *love* it!!!

    • Kat

      Our chief weapon is surprise…

  • Dante

    “Debbie Does Planet of the Apes”
    “Murder on the Planet of the Apes”
    “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Planet of the Apes”
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes II: Monkey Never Sleeps”
    “Planet of the Apes: Heart of Darkness”

    • Rete

      AWESOME TITLES!!! Love the Debbie Does series!…The ones that include Debbie Does Chewie and Friends from Star Wars, Debbie Does Speed Racer and Pops, and all of those remakes!! :)

  • T

    I think you meant to say that the beautiful Grace Kelly was in Hitch’s Rear Window.

    • Big Walt

      I think it was a joke.

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