Saturday, 3 November 2018


Science Fiction film-making at its most thought-provoking and exciting, as documented in The Making of Planet of the Apes. Out now in the UK from Harper Design. Apes movie images: 20th Century Fox.

Before the Sith, before the Jedi, there were those 'damned dirty' Apes!

He brought us the greatest and most acclaimed behind the scenes books ever researched and written on the making of the original classic Star Wars Trilogy- more detailed and revealing than fans could ever have wished for, and he was surely one of the finest creative assets working in Lucasfilm as Executive Editor until a few years back, when, with the changing of the guard for a new era, he bid adieu to the company in order to pursue the next step in his intriguing and evolving career as a writer and filmmaker in live action and animation. Now, J.W. Rinzler continues his fine work as a movie historian charting the superb and never fully revealed true story behind the incredible birth/making-of another classic sci-fi franchise so beloved and enduring as Star Wars, and of that pioneering flagship film that launched a phenomenon- Planet of the Apes. Surely (thankfully) existing beyond the realms of the B-movies of which the sci-fi and fantasy genre had been inexorably and unfairly trapped for some time, this was the first realistic and adult-sophisticated sci-fi movie franchise of its ilk from the American market (Stanley Kubrick's singular 2001: A Space Odyssey also making 1968 a fine year for aficionados), and whose arrival on celluloid, beyond an early aura of secrecy, rapidly made it one of the most popular and respected films of the 1960's, whilst simultaneously reigniting the fortunes of a then ailing 20th Century Fox before they'd eventually take on on the reins of funding George Lucas's first indelible steps into the realms of the Star Wars universe by the 1970's.

Visual preview:

The Ape stars of the landmark film!

And, if anything, so much of the DNA groundwork to the success of our 1977 classic, and the way it was pre-sold to the studio, made and marketed to audiences, can be unconsciously found and tributed to the starting point of this unique 'Simian Saga'. We'd also had the ground-breaking colourful and dignified Star Trek to enjoy and appreciate on the TV airwaves of 1968, but Apes must surely be seriously considered and celebrated as the true launch point for what Star Wars would debut as. We owe such creativity and dedication, and a hearty clap of thanks, to Apes' enthused developer, Arthur P. Jacobs, a true showman and dedicated publicity expert.

Filming the opening water crash-landing.

Without a doubt, The Making of Planet of the Apes is a supremely realized labour of love and care by both Rinzler and the art team with whom he has worked so closely with these last few years. It's truly the book that all Apes fans and movie history fans have been waiting decades for, making a timely arrival via Harper Design for the film's fiftieth anniversary, and featuring a lovely and genuinely warm and nostalgic introduction from Fraser Heston, son of the project's iconic and much-missed charismatic lead star- Charlton Heston, another man of talent and foresight who worked hard to make this special and unique endeavour come to life.

Make-up and wardrobe tests.

As you delve into the gloriously weighty book, and the origins of a project that would go way beyond the whimsical fantasy imagination of its French creator Pierre Boulle, prepare to discover new facts on hitherto facets of the film and its many groundbreaking and iconic scenes (including that genuinely unforgettable shock finale), its scripting odyssey emerging from a true collection of American greats (including Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone), beautifully designed spreads that make the most of many rare and previously unseen, specially-selected digitally re-scanned photographs and production artwork from both the Fox vaults and private collections, a look at some fascinating deleted scenes that even die-hard fans might not have been aware of, and detailed production information and rarities linked to the marvels of Oscar-winning make-up artist John Chambers, whose influentially long-lasting and brilliant make-up designs for the different Apes species (meticulously applied to the likes of Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans) have never been bettered.

Developing Ape City.

So don't let one of those thug gorilla types get their 'stinking paws' on your copy of this marvellous and important book. The Making of Planet of the Apes is a must-have event purchase, and a reminder of just what a distinguished and literate talent in Rinzler we're missing at Lucasfilm these days!

More book information here:

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Planet of the Apes, the classic science-fiction film from 1968, The Making of Planet of the Apes tells the film and offers exclusive, never-before-seen photographs and concept art.
Based on Pierre Boulle's novel La Plan├ęte de singes, the original Planet of the Apes was one of the most celebrated films of the 1960s and beyond. Starring Hollywood icons Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall, the movie struck a chord with the world and sparked a franchise that included eight sequels, two television series, and a long-running comic book. Now, five decades after its theatrical release, New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler tells the thrilling story of this legendary Hollywood production—a film even Boulle thought would be impossible to make.
With a foreword by Fraser Heston, Charlton Heston's son, The Making of Planet of the Apes is an entertaining, informative experience that will transport readers back to the strange alternate Earth ruled by apes, and bring to life memorable characters such as Cornelius, Dr. Zira, Dr. Zaius, and Taylor, the human astronaut whose time-traveling sparks an incredible adventure. Meticulously researched and designed to capture the look and atmosphere of the film, The Making of Planet of the Apes is also packed with a wealth of concept paintings, storyboards, and never-before-seen imagery—including rare journal pages and sketches from Charlton Heston's private collection—as well as color and black-and-white unit photography, posters, and more unique ephemera.
Comprehensive in scope, The Making of Planet of the Apes is the definitive look at the original blockbuster film, a must-have for fans, film buffs, and collectors alike.

Author J.W. Rinzler.

NEW (14/11/18): Book review:

Additional book preview:

Get it here (UK release date: November 15th, 2018):

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