Fox Archives: 50 years ago…‘Planet of the Apes’ (1968), from concept to creation


In February 1968, the film “Planet of the Apes” premiered in U.S. theaters. The movie, which was adapted from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel, “Monkey Planet,” starred Charlton Heston as an astronaut aboard a spaceship that crash-lands on a seemingly foreign, desolate planet ruled by apes. The film’s adored characters, as well as its unique and entertaining approach to social and philosophical issues, have made it a significant part of the American film canon.

“Planet of the Apes” spawned an enormous franchise, including eight additional feature films, two TV series, three video games, comic books and much more. Fifty years later, here is a look back at the initial development of the now iconic classic:

The Fox Archives is mandated to collect, catalog, preserve and make accessible the following assets of the 20th Century Fox studios: props, set decoration, photographs, art department and publicity materials from our film and television productions, and from the 20th Century Fox studio itself. We work primarily with internal Fox groups but also from time to time with outside organizations such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.