Planet of the Apes Movies in Order: Considered to be one of the most famous films ever made “Planet of the Apes” film series is a widely recognized science fiction American franchise that depicts the struggle for existence between humans and intelligent apes. Since the original film’s popularity, many sequels and reboots have been produced which actually made up separate continuities established over the course of the entire franchise. There are two ways to watch Planet of the Apes movies in order: by release date or chronologically.
Based on French author Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des singes, translated into English as Planet of the Apes or Monkey Planet. The original story, follows three explorers arrive on a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse, only to find a society in which apes rule and humans are used primarily as slaves. Where as the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy’s story explains the apes still rise to power and become the dominant species. The series also feature Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes a remake released in 2001.
However, since nine films have the same title and the franchise has restarted so many times, it can be difficult to keep track of all the films. This often begs the question: What is the best order to watch a movie about the planet of the Apes? Don’t worry here is the answer, The Planet of the Apes timeline is a bit confusing, so we arranged them in their proper order which will help you to watch and understand the full movie series.
How to Watch Planet of the Apes in Order [Prequels Timeline]
The apes’ ascent to power is explored in the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy’s, includes Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes and upcoming Planet of the Apes film, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024). The events take place in the not-too-distant future, with Earth serving as the main setting. However, the apes still rise to power and become the dominant species in the reboot Planet of the Apes reboot film series, just as they did in the other continuities. So if we go for chronological order of Planet of the Apes movies series then start with Planet of the Apes prequel series (Reboot Series), because it sheds light on the forces that molded the characters.
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Based on the 1963 novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle, the first entry in the reboot trilogy, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a revolution–an action-packed epic featuring stunning visual effects and creatures unlike anything ever seen before. At the story’s heart is Caesar (Andy Serkis), a chimpanzee who gains human-like intelligence and emotions from an experimental drug. Raised like a child by the drug’s creator (James Franco), Caesar ultimately finds himself taken from the humans he loves and imprisoned. Seeking justice, Caesar assembles a simian army and escapes–putting man and primate on a collision course that could change the planet forever.
Led by Rupert Wyatt’s stylish direction, and a mesmerizing performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathes unlikely new life into a long-running franchise, which established the basic events that would later define the original franchise.
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Picks up 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) expands on its predecessor with an exciting and ambitious burst of sci-fi achievement. The film establishes the aftermath of a “Simian flu” pandemic which decimates the earth’s human population, the leader of an advanced ape colony in the muir woods helps an architect fix a hydro dam which puts San Francisco back on the grid, but the fragile trust between man and ape is broken when a former lab ape “Assassinates” the leader and wages war against human survivors in the revitalized city.
3. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
Picks up two years after the event of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), War for the Planet of the Apes combines breathtaking special effects and a powerful, poignant narrative to conclude this rebooted trilogy on a powerful—and truly blockbuster—note.
In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
“War for the Planet of the Apes is an excellent closing act to this rebooted trilogy, but also one that does enough world-building that the series can potentially continue from here – and it’s a rare case where, after three movies, we’re left wanting more”says IGN.
4. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)
Set in the same universe first established in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will take place hundreds of years after the events of War, expanding the Planet of the Apes reboot series to the next level. Director Matt Reeves said that Steve Zahn’s character, Bad Ape, established a primate world “much larger” than just Caesar’s group of apes, adding that there are apes “who grew up without the benefit of Caesar’s leadership” and suggesting that conflict would arise if Caesar’s apes should encounter such outsiders. Mark Bomback felt that “there was probably only one more big chapter left to tell”, explaining how Caesar “came to be this Moses figure in the Apes world”.
In the film, Years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), many ape clans have emerged in the oasis to which Caesar led his fellow apes, while humans have regressed into a feral state. One ape leader perverts the teachings of Caesar to enslave other clans in search of the last traces of a secret human technology, while another ape embarks on a journey to find freedom side by side with a human girl.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 24, 2024.
The Original Planet of the Apes Movies in Chronological Order to Watch
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a groundbreaking science fiction franchise emerged, captivating audiences with its imaginative storytelling and thought-provoking themes. The original Planet of the Apes movies, released between 1968 and 1973, took viewers on a thrilling journey to a dystopian future where apes had risen to dominance over humans. With iconic characters, gripping narratives, and pioneering makeup and special effects, these films explored profound social commentary and challenged conventional ideas about power, prejudice, and the nature of humanity. Let’s delve into the chronological order of these captivating cinematic gems that have left an indelible mark on the science fiction genre.
If we consider the timeline of The Original Planet of the Apes Movies, there are inconsistencies in the original timeline, and it only takes into account the first two films in the Planet of the Apes franchise, establishes the starting point in the year 3978.
The last three entries in the original Planet of the Apes trilogy establish a parallel history. The story begins in the year 3979, when Cornelius, Zira, and Dr. Milo escape Earth in one of the repaired spaceships used by Taylor or Brent, and return to the year 1973 via time warp.
1. Planet of the Apes (1968)
One of the most iconic images in 1960s film ever to come out of Hollywood, Planet of the Apes (1968) is complex sociological themes run science-fiction classic film, loosely based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle.
Set in the year A.D. 3978, the film is about three astronauts crash-lands on a futuristic planet where apes rule and humans are slaves. Taylor and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crashed. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.
With its gripping narrative and groundbreaking makeup effects, “Planet of the Apes” laid the foundation for a captivating saga that would continue to unravel in subsequent films, immersing audiences in a rich and thought-provoking exploration of a world ruled by apes.
2. Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
“Beneath the Planet of the Apes,” released in 1970, serves as the second installment in the original Planet of the Apes movie series. Directed by Ted Post, the film continues the gripping narrative established in its predecessor. After the events of the first film, a new astronaut named Brent (James Franciscus) embarks on a mission to find the missing astronaut George Taylor. However, he discovers a shocking underground civilization of mutant humans who worship a powerful and destructive force—the Alpha-Omega bomb. As Brent navigates this treacherous subterranean world, he becomes entangled in a deadly conflict between the mutant humans and the ruling ape society. “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” delves deeper into the themes of power, religion, and the devastating consequences of humanity’s actions, while unraveling a tale of survival and discovery in a world where apes dominate and humans face an uncertain fate.
3. Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971)
“Escape from the Planet of the Apes,” released in 1971, marks the third installment in the original Planet of the Apes movie series. Directed by Don Taylor, the film takes a captivating twist by reversing the direction of the story. In this installment, three intelligent chimpanzees named Cornelius (Roddy McDowall), Zira (Kim Hunter), and Milo (Sal Mineo) manage to escape Earth’s destruction by traveling back in time to 1970s America using the spacecraft of the late astronaut George Taylor. Finding themselves in a world unfamiliar to them, Cornelius and Zira become objects of curiosity and scientific study as they try to navigate a society ruled by humans. As the film unfolds, the apes’ presence triggers a series of unforeseen consequences, challenging preconceived notions about the nature of intelligence and raising profound questions about humanity’s treatment of other species. “Escape from the Planet of the Apes” delivers a thought-provoking exploration of identity, discrimination, and the potential consequences of tampering with the course of history, setting the stage for further developments in the series.
4. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Colorful, futuristic sets, a relentless pace and an action-packed climax highlight the fourth episode of the legendary Apes saga, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), starring Roddy McDowall and Ricardo Montalban, explores how the apes rebelled from humanity’s ill treatment following Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971).
As the film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes begins, Armando and the child ape, now grown and named Caesar (played by McDowall), arrive in an unnamed North American city. The year is 1991, and the United States government has gone totalitarian. A virus from space has wiped out all of the world’s cats and dogs, leading humans to turn to apes as pets and then slaves. When Caesar expresses his outrage at the cruel treatment of an ape by police, he is forced to flee and hide — because he was declared dead 20 years ago and his very existence is a threat to humanity. When Armando is killed while in the custody of the government, an enraged Caesar begins to plot a revolution, slowly but steadily organizing his fellow apes for a violent uprising that will be the first step toward the apes’ extinction.
“Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” delves into themes of oppression, resistance, and the potential consequences of unchecked power, exploring the thin line that separates civilization from chaos. With its powerful narrative and social commentary, the film sets the stage for the climactic events to come in the final installment of the original Planet of the Apes series.
5. Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
“Battle for the Planet of the Apes,” released in 1973, is indeed the fifth and final installment in the original Planet of the Apes movie series. Directed by J. Lee Thompson, the film continues the narrative established in the previous films. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, it explores the climactic battle for dominance between humans and apes.
Following the events of “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” Caesar (Roddy McDowall) now leads an established society of apes and tries to maintain a fragile peace with the remaining humans. However, conflicts arise when an aggressive gorilla named Aldo (Claude Akins) challenges Caesar’s leadership and seeks to overthrow him. As tensions escalate, the fate of both species hangs in the balance.
“Battle for the Planet of the Apes” delves into themes of power, equality, and the consequences of war. It provides a glimpse into a future where the destiny of humans and apes intertwine, and where the choices made by leaders and individuals shape the course of their civilizations. With its thought-provoking narrative and poignant exploration of morality, the film brings the original Planet of the Apes series to a dramatic conclusion, leaving audiences to ponder the complexities of coexistence and the legacy of a world ruled by apes.
Planet of the Apes Movies Order (Bonus Movies & TV series)
1. Planet of the Apes (2001 Remake film)
This action-packed epic from director Tim Burton, serves as a remake of the 1968 film version, loosely adapted from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel of the same name.
After a spectacular crash-landing on an uncharted planet, brash astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself trapped in a savage world where talking apes dominate the human race. Desperate to find a way home, Leo must evade the invincible gorilla army led by ruthless General Thade (Tim Roth) and his most trusted warrior, Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan). Now the pulse-pounding race is on to reach a sacred temple that may hold the shocking secrets of mankind’s past – and the last hope for it’s salvation!
2. Planet of the Apes (TV series)
Based on the 1968 movie Planet of the Apes and its sequels, which were, in turn, based on the 1963 novel La Planète des singes (translated as Planet of the Apes) by Pierre Boulle, a short-lived series was aired on CBS in 1974, ran for 14 episodes before being cancelled.
While exploring space near Alpha Centauri, two astronauts, Burke (James Naughton) and Virdon (Ron Harper), encounter a space-time warp, causing them to crash on an alien world that they soon discover is actually a post-apocalyptic Earth in the year 3085, where a civilization of bipedal apes now rules over a cowed and submissive humanity. They flee the cabal of orangutans who want to execute them for fear of inciting rebellion among the native humans, and with the help of a sympathetic chimp named Galen (Roddy McDowall), they drift randomly across the known world of the ape-ruled territories in the hopes of finding a way to return to their own time.
3. Return to the Planet of the Apes (Animated series)
Unlike the film, its sequels, and the 1974 live action TV series, which involved a primitive ape civilization, Return to the Planet of the Apes depicted a technologically advanced society, complete with automobiles, film, and television; as such it more closely resembled both Boulle’s original novel and early concepts for the first Apes movie which were changed due to budgetary limitations in the late 1960s.
The story revolves around three American astronauts, Bill Hudson (Tom Williams), Jeff Allen (Austin Stoker, who played MacDonald in Battle), and Judy Franklin (Claudette Nevins), who inadvertently travel to the far future of Earth. They discover three groups inhabiting the world: mute humans who live in desert caves, subterranean human “Underdwellers” modeled after the mutants of Beneath, and civilized apes who subjugate the humans. The astronauts become increasingly involved in the affairs of the planet and in defending humans against an ape invasion as the show progresses.
How many Planet of the Apes movies are there?
The Planet of the Apes film series consists of NINE (9) movies, based on French author Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des singes, translated into English as Planet of the Apes or Monkey Planet. It tells the tale of human explorers from Earth who visit a planet orbiting the star Betelgeuse, in which great apes are the dominant intelligent and civilized species, whereas humans are reduced to a savage animal-like state. Altogether, the films have gross $2.2 billion worldwide, against a combined budget of $567.5 million.
All Planet of The Apes Movies in Order of Release Date
Here is the list of Planet of the Apes films in order, they were released.
1. Planet of the Apes — April 3, 1968
2. Beneath the Planet of the Apes — May 27, 1970
3. Escape from the Planet of the Apes — May 21, 1971
4. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes — June 29, 1972
5. Battle for the Planet of the Apes — June 15, 1973
1. Planet of the Apes — July 27, 2001
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes — August 5, 2011
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — July 11, 2014
3. War for the Planet of the Apes — July 14, 2017
1. Planet of the Apes — September 13 – December 20, 1974
2. Return to the Planet of the Apes — September 6 – November 29, 1975
What is the correct order to watch Planet of the Apes?
The correct chronological order to watch the Planet of the Apes movies, including both the original series and the reboot series, is as follows:
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
- Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024)
- Planet of the Apes (1968)
- Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
- Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
- Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Watching the reboot series first provides the backstory and sets up the events that lead to the original series. Then, you can continue with the original series to see how the story unfolds. This viewing order allows for a coherent and chronological understanding of the Planet of the Apes saga.
What kind of ape is Caesar?
In the Planet of the Apes franchise, Caesar is depicted as a chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are one of the four extant species of great apes, along with bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas. Caesar, portrayed by actor Roddy McDowall in the original series and portrayed by Andy Serkis in the reboot series, is a highly intelligent chimpanzee who becomes a central figure in the ape uprising and the subsequent establishment of ape society. Throughout the films, Caesar’s character undergoes significant growth and development, highlighting the capacity for intelligence, emotion, and leadership within chimpanzees.
Watching The Planet of the Apes movies in chronological order gives a thrilling experience of the most successful film franchises, based on Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des singes, translated into English as “Planet of the Apes”, depicts the struggle for existence between humans and intelligent apes. The best place to start series is with the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy’s and then original movies as mentioned above. The order in which you do these things is up to you now. But when we watch it, we prefer to do so in order.
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