All 9 Planet Of The Apes Movies in Order

The Planet of the Apes franchise started in 1968 with a groundbreaking sci-fi film. Based on a 1963 French author Pierre Boulle’s novel, the movie showed a world where humans and intelligent humanoid apes clashed, captivating audiences and dominating ’70s sci-fi. The original film led to four sequels, tie-in books, a live-action TV series, and an animated series.

Despite a 30-year break, Tim Burton’s 2001 remake didn’t revive the franchise. But the 2011 reboot prequel, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ was a hit, leading to a new trilogy and the upcoming ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ in 2024. This series explores evolution, societal conflict, and the consequences of scientific experimentation, offering a compelling experience for audiences looking for depth in their movies.

All Planet Of The Apes Movies in Order

All Planet Of The Apes Movies in Order

  1. Planet of the Apes (1968)

    Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

    Writers: Michael Wilson, Rod Serling, Pierre Boulle

    Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

    Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi

    Planet of the Apes (1968) on IMDb

    Planet of the Apes” (1968) is a beloved sci-fi flick based on Pierre Boulle’s novel “La Planète des Singes”. The story follows Colonel George Taylor and his astronaut crew, who crash-land on a strange planet far in the future. Intelligent apes run this world, while humans are treated like animals and cannot speak.

    Taylor, initially unable to talk due to a throat injury, is taken captive by the apes. He observes their society, where orangutans hold top positions, followed by chimpanzees and gorillas. Eventually, he connects with a kind-hearted chimpanzee scientist, Zira, and her partner, Cornelius, who see him as different from other humans.

    As Taylor adapts to this bizarre place, he becomes determined to prove his intelligence and challenge the oppressive ape society. His journey leads to a shocking discovery: the planet is Earth, devastated by a nuclear war. This revelation highlights the film’s themes of societal collapse, prejudice, and humanity’s self-destructive tendencies.

  2. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

    Director: Ted Post

    Writers: Paul Dehn, Mort Abrahams, Pierre Boulle

    Stars: James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans

    Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

    Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) on IMDb

    “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” picks up where the first film left off. Astronaut Brent crashes onto the same mysterious planet and teams up with Nova, who had been with Colonel George Taylor. Together, they brave the Forbidden Zone in search of Taylor.

    What they find underground is startling a society of mutated humans with telepathic powers. These mutants worship a nuclear bomb, a grim reminder of humanity’s past, and aim to use it to wipe out the world above and take control. Brent and Nova witness their eerie rituals and telepathic communication.

    Meanwhile, Taylor resurfaces after being captured by the mutants. But any hope for a reunion with Brent is dashed when their presence sparks conflict between the mutants and the ape army.

    The tension boils over in a showdown. A brutal battle erupts between the ape army and the mutant humans, activating the doomsday bomb. In a last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Taylor sacrifices himself by setting off the bomb, wiping out both the mutants and the apes, leaving Nova and Brent as the lone survivors.

  3. Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

    Director: Don Taylor

    Writers: Paul Dehn, Pierre Boulle

    Stars: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman

    Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

    Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) on IMDb

    The film starts with three brainy chimpanzees, Cornelius, Zira, and Milocescaping Earth’s destruction aboard Taylor’s spacecraft just before a doomsday bomb goes off, as seen in the second film. They land back in time on 1970s Earth.

    At first, Cornelius and Zira are treated like fascinating scientific oddities and gain celebrity status. But as they blend into human society, worries and suspicions arise about what their presence means for the future. Their arrival sparks heated political and ethical debates, especially when it’s revealed that Zira is pregnant.

    The American government, led by a Presidential commission headed by Dr. Otto Hasslein, gets increasingly anxious about what these talking apes could mean for tomorrow. Hasslein, in particular, becomes fixated on stopping what he sees as an inevitable future where apes rule.

    Tensions reached a boiling point when people discovered that the government intends to kill Zira’s baby secretly to eliminate any potential threat. In a gripping finale, Cornelius and Zira attempt to flee but find themselves cornered. Tragically, someone shoots and kills Zira, while Cornelius sustains mortal wounds. However, sympathetic humans rescue Zira’s baby in a bittersweet ending.

  4. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

    Director: J. Lee Thompson

    Writers: Paul Dehn, Pierre Boulle

    Stars: Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalban

    Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

    Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) on IMDb

    In 1991, intelligent apes became commonplace in households, serving as servants and doing manual labor for humans. The main character, Caesar, is the offspring of Cornelius and Zira, who traveled back in time from the future. Raised by Armando, a compassionate circus owner who conceals his intelligence, Caesar grows up unaware of his heritage.

    As Caesar matures, he becomes increasingly conscious of humans’ unjust treatment of apes. After Armando’s passing, Caesar is sent to a slave camp, where he witnesses the harsh realities faced by his fellow apes. Driven by memories of his parents and fueled by his growing anger, Caesar starts plotting a rebellion against human oppression.

    Caesar’s remarkable leadership and intellect inspire the apes, who unite in revolt against their human captors. The uprising spreads across the city, leading to a fierce clash between the apes and the authorities. Caesar leads his fellow apes in a symbolic march through the city streets, demanding freedom and equal rights.

    In a dramatic showdown, Caesar confronts Governor Breck, the face of the oppressive human regime. Despite pleas for leniency, Caesar ultimately takes Breck’s life, signaling the triumph of the apes and establishing himself as their leader.

  5. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

    Director: J. Lee Thompson

    Writers: Pierre Boulle, Paul Dehn, John William Corrington

    Stars: Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy

    Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

    Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) on IMDb

    This movie wraps up the original “Planet of the Apes” series, set long after the events of “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.” Humans and intelligent apes share the world, striving for a delicate peace. Caesar leads the ape civilization, working hard to keep harmony between the two species.

    Trouble brews when a group of mutant humans, led by Governor Kolp, aims to wipe out the apes and regain human supremacy. These mutants inhabit a nearby ruined city and possess advanced weaponry, including nukes.

    Caesar aims for a peaceful solution and sends a team of apes, led by his trusted friend Virgil, to talk with the mutants. But talks fail, and the mutants attack the ape village.

    In a gripping showdown, both sides suffer heavy losses. Caesar faces tough choices to protect his people while staying true to his beliefs in peace and cooperation.

    In the end, Caesar triumphs over the mutants and prevents them from using their nukes. Reflecting on forgiveness and unity, he hopes humans and apes can live in harmony.

    The film closes with a glimpse of peaceful coexistence between humans and apes, hinting at a brighter tomorrow despite the hurdles ahead.

  6. Planet of the Apes (2001)

    Director: Tim Burton

    Writers: Pierre Boulle, William Broyles Jr., Lawrence Konner

    Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth

    Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    Planet of the Apes (2001) on IMDb

    The story centers on Captain Leo Davidson, an astronaut in 2029 stationed at a space station where genetically enhanced apes were trained for space missions. During one mission, a chimp named Pericles disappears into a space-time vortex.

    Ignoring orders, Davidson follows Pericles and crash-lands on a strange planet controlled by intelligent apes. Here, humans are treated as primitive enslaved people, while apes reign supreme in their society.

    Davidson meets various apes, including General Thade, a staunch anti-human, and Ari, an ape sympathetic to humans.

    As Davidson seeks a way back home, he gets caught up in the complex ape society’s social and political dynamics. He forges alliances with friendly apes and human rebels but clashes with Thade and his followers.

    Ultimately, Davidson uncovers the planet’s true history Earth, but in an alternate timeline where apes evolved as the dominant species. The film climaxes with a showdown between Davidson and Thade, leading to a surprising twist that strands Davidson in this alternate reality.

  7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

    Director: Rupert Wyatt

    Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle

    Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto

    Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) on IMDb

    The movie follows Dr. Will Rodman, a scientist at Gen-Sys, a pharmaceutical company trying to cure Alzheimer’s. Will’s mission is fueled by his father’s struggle with the disease.

    In his research, Will tests a new drug on chimps, leading to the birth of Caesar, a remarkably intelligent baby chimp. Caesar’s smarts are off the charts, thanks to the experimental drug passed on from his mom.

    As Caesar grows, he forms a special bond with Will and starts questioning his place in human society. After a run-in with a neighbor, Caesar gets sent to a brutal primate sanctuary, where he sees his fellow apes mistreated.

    Fed up with the cruelty, Caesar sparks a rebellion at the sanctuary, freeing the apes. With his brains and leadership, he rallies them against their human captors.

    The conflict heats up as the apes take over San Francisco, culminating in a showdown on the Golden Gate Bridge. Despite efforts to keep the peace, humans and apes clash, resulting in losses.

  8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

    Director: Matt Reeves

    Writers: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

    Stars: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis

    Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) on IMDb

    Ten years after the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a deadly virus called the Simian Flu has ravaged humanity. Meanwhile, Caesar, the wise ape leader, has built a thriving ape community in the Muir Woods near San Francisco.

    Peace is disrupted when a group of human survivors, led by Malcolm, stumbles upon the apes while searching for a hydroelectric dam in San Francisco. Despite initial tensions, Caesar agrees to let the humans work on the dam in exchange for electricity for his ape family.

    However, distrust festers on both sides, especially with the aggressive ape Koba, who has held a grudge against humans from his days in captivity.

    Tensions boil over, leading to misunderstandings and betrayals that spark open conflict. Koba seizes power among the apes and launches a vicious attack on the human settlement, plunging them into full-blown war.

    In the chaos, Caesar grapples with his loyalty to his fellow apes and his desire for peace with humans. Malcolm and a few others, along with Caesar’s trusted advisor, Maurice, strive for a peaceful solution.

    Caesar faces off against Koba in the showdown and prevails at a significant cost. Despite the losses, Caesar remains committed to peace, setting the stage for a fragile alliance between humans and apes.

  9. War For the Planet of the Apes (2017)

    Director: Matt Reeves

    Writers: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves, Rick Jaffa

    Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn

    Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

    War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) on IMDb

    The story picks up after the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” events, with Caesar and his ape family hiding out in the Muir Woods. They’re constantly hunted by a tough military group called Alpha-Omega, led by the relentless Colonel McCullough.

    After suffering heavy losses, Caesar is consumed by a thirst for revenge against the Colonel. He leads a mission to find and take him down, joined by his trusted advisors Maurice, Rocket, and Luca, and a mute human girl named Nova they rescued.

    On their journey, they come across other enslaved apes under the Colonel’s control, witnessing the terrible treatment they endure. Determined to free their kin, Caesar and his crew vow to rescue them.

    But as they get closer to the Colonel’s base, they face many obstacles and betrayals. Alongside battling humans, Caesar struggles with doubts about his leadership and his capacity for forgiveness.

    In a big showdown, Caesar and his team launch an audacious attack on the Colonel’s stronghold. But they’re captured and locked up, leading to a showdown between Caesar and the Colonel.

    During their clash, Caesar learns that the Simian Flu virus has mutated, leaving humans unable to speak and reverting them to a primitive state. He realizes the Colonel’s actions were driven by his fear of humanity dying out.

    The apes mourn their leader with Caesar gone and prepare to carry on his legacy. The film closes with them heading to a new, beautiful home, signaling their newfound freedom and the start of a fresh chapter for the planet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Planet of the Apes film series has captivated audiences with its intricate timelines, rich storytelling, and captivating characters.

From the original 1968 classic to the upcoming 10th installment in 2024, the franchise has evolved and expanded, offering viewers a diverse narrative journey through a world dominated by apes.

With its lasting impact on science fiction cinema, the Planet of the Apes movies continue to be a cult classic beloved by fans worldwide.

FAQs

What Are Some Common Themes Explored Throughout the Planet of the Apes Movies?

Common themes explored throughout the Planet of the Apes movies include societal commentary, reflections on humanity, ethical dilemmas, and the consequences of power dynamics. These films provoke thought on civilization, evolution, and the blurred lines between oppressor and oppressed.

How Did the Rebooted Trilogy Differ From the Original Planet of the Apes Series?

The rebooted trilogy of “Planet of the Apes” distinguishes itself from the original series by presenting a fresh take on the ape-human conflict, focusing on character development and societal commentary while incorporating advanced visual effects and nuanced storytelling.

Are There Any Notable Actors Who Appeared in Multiple Movies Within the Planet of the Apes Franchise?

Several actors have appeared in multiple ‘Planet of the Apes movies, notably Roddy McDowall in the original series and Andy Serkis in the rebooted trilogy. Their performances span different characters, showcasing their versatility and talent.

How Has the Planet of the Apes Franchise Evolved Over the Years in Terms of Storytelling and Special Effects?

Over the years, the Planet of the Apes franchise has evolved in storytelling complexity and enhanced special effects, showcasing deeper themes of society, humanity, and conflict. The progression has captivated audiences with its compelling narratives and visual advancements.

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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