Planet of the Apes

Synopsis: It is the year 2029: Astronaut Leo Davidson boards a pod cruiser on a Space Station for a "routine" reconnaissance mission. But an abrupt detour through a space time wormhole lands him on a strange planet where talking apes rule over the human race. With the help of a sympathetic chimpanzee activist named Ari and a small band of human rebels, Leo leads the effort to evade the advancing Gorilla Army led by General Thade and his most trusted warrior Attar. Now the race is on to reach a sacred temple within the planet's Forbidden Zone to discover the shocking secrets of mankind's past - and the key to its future.
Director(s): Tim Burton
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 10 wins & 27 nominations.
 
IMDB:
5.7
Metacritic:
50
Rotten Tomatoes:
45%
PG-13
Year:
2001
119 min
$178,094,583
Website
933 Views


FADE IN:

1EXT. CONSTELLATION OF ORION - NIGHT

Stars glitter like diamonds on the black velvet backdrop of space.

The Belt of Orion is center screen, but much nearer and larger

than ever seen by an Earth-bound astronomer.

A speck of light appears in the lower left corner of the screen.

No spaceship can be seen, but only a glowworm, a solitary sperma-

tosoan gliding through the womb of the universe. Over this we HEAR

the voice of an astronaut. He is concluding a report.

ASTRONAUT'S VOICE

(o.s.)

So ends my last signal until we reach

our destination. We are now on automatic,

a mere hundred and five light years from

our base ... and at the mercy of com-

puters. I've tucked in my crew for the

long sleep. I'll join them presently.

2INT. CABIN OF SPACESHIP - ESTABLISHING SHOT - NIGHT

The cabin is neither cramped nor spacious, but about the size of the

President's cabin in Air Force One. In the immediate f.g. is a console

of dials and switches flanked by four chairs. Only one of the chairs

is occupied. The astronaut's back is to CAMERA. There is a ladder

amidships which leads to an escape hatch. The after Dart of the cabin

is obscured in darkness. We hear the MUSIC of a Mozart sonata emanating

from a phonograph of stereotape. The astronaut is speaking into a

microphone.

ASTRONAUT:

Within the hour we shall complete

the sixth month of our flight from

Cape Kennedy. By our time, that is ...

He pauses, looking up at:

3TWO LARGE CLOCKS - ON CABIN WALL

One clock is marked SELF TIME, but instead of twelve numerals it has

twenty-four. One of the needles is moving very slowly.

The other clock is labeled EARTH TIME, and its units, like those of a

tachometer, are given by hundreds and thousands.

The largest needle of this clock makes one revolution every second.

Over this we hear:

ASTRONAUT'S VOICE

(o.s.)

But according to Dr. Hasslein theory of

time in a vehicle traveling at close to

the speed of light, old Mother Earth has

aged a few thousand years since our de-

parture -- while we have scarcely aged

at all.

4CLOSE ON ASTRONAUT

This is TAYLOR. He wears simple dungarees (or Churchill suit) and

comfortable boots. He seems calm and pensive. Extracting the butt of

a cigar from the breast pocket of his dungarees, he lights it, then

continues:

TAYLOR:

It may be so. This much is probable: the

men who sent us on this journey have long

since been moldering in forgotten graves;

and those, if any, who read this message

are a different breed. Hopefully, a

better one.

He begins to roll up his left sleeve.

TAYLOR:

I leave the twentieth century without

regret. Who was it? Marshall? ... said

'Modern man is the missin 'a link between

the ape and the human being.'

He removes the cigar from his mouth, turns to look out through one

of the portholes into the astral night.

TAYLOR:

One final thought -- nothing scientific,

purely personal. Seen from up here,

everything looks different ... Time bends

and space is boundless. It squashes a

man's ego. He begins to feel like no more

than a mote in the eye of eternity. And

he is nagged by a question: ahat if any-

thing, will greet us on the end of man's

first journey to a star? Are we to believe

that throughout these thousands of galaxies,

these millions of stars, only one, that

speck of solar dust we call Earth, has

been graced -- or cursed -- by human life?

(pause)

I have to doubt it.

He extracts a hypodermic needle from his breast pocket and injects

it into the vein of his forearm. He continues speaking.

TAYLOR:

(sardonically)

That's about all. I wonder if Man, that

marvel of the universe, that glorious

paradox who has sent me to the unknown...

still makes war against his brother., and

lets his neighbor's children starve.

Taylor withdraws the hypodermic needle from his vein and secures it in

a drawer of the console.

TAYLOR:

Well then, Earthmen: A missing link

salutes you. Bless you, my descendants.

Taylor snuffs out the cigar butt and places it in the drawer beside the

hypodermic. Then, flicking a switch Au cut off the Mozart, he rises and

looks up again at:

5THE CLOCK MARKED EARTH TIME

The longest needle of this clock now makes nearly two revolutions per

second. The shortest needle points to the numeral 2105.

6INT. CABIN - TRACKING WITH TAYLOR

Space scientists have presumably solved the problem of weightlessness,

for Taylor walks the short distance from; the console to the after

section without particular effort. CAMERA FOLLOWS him, and we can now

see four glass capsules, or "caskets", in the rear of the cabin. Taylor

looks down at them.

7-SEVERAL SHOTS - THE FOUR CASKETS - FROM TAYLOR'S P.O.V.

10

One of them is open. The other three are occupied by astronauts: DODGE,

LANDON and STEWART. They, too, wear dungarees and boots. Dodge and

Landon are thirtyish, clean-shaven, virile -- America's finest. Stewart

is a handsome young woman, her hair bobbed short. Their eyes are closed

and they do not appear to be breathing -- yet no undertaker could make

them so alive.

11ANOTHER ANGLE - FAVORING TAYLOR

He grasps the handle of his own casket and slowly pulls himself into

it. Continuing SILENCE. CAMERA MOVES IN as Taylor Dulls the glass lid

shut and secures it. He adjusts two dials inside the capsule and lies

back, buckling his safety belt. CAMERA MOVES INTO A CLOSEUP of Taylor.

His eyes are open. He seems serene, even enraptured.

(NOTE:
Credits will appear here over a series of shots designed to

convey a sense of loneliness, of separation, and of the passage of

time.)

DISSOLVE TO:

12-A SERIES OF SHOTS - A DISTANT GLOBE (MINIATURE)

16

We see a strange and distant planet. At first the globe occupies but a

small area of the screen; but with each new VIEW it comes closer and

looms larger, as if" observed from a spaceship in a spiraling orbit of

descent.

The topography of the planet bears little resemblance to our own. Much

of it is obscured by cloud cover; even more of-it appears to be

cratered desert of reddish hue. We can, however, make out a few narrow

"green belts" and a patch of blue water.

In the FINAL SHOTS of this SEQUENCE we see the strange planet as it

would be observed from a spacecraft plummeting from twenty thousand

feet to one thousand feet. It appears that the ship will fall into a

vast lake surrounded by soaring sandstone pinnacles. The water is

blue-black, the pinnacles vermillion. (This is the Lake Powell

location, at Lone Rock.)

17INT. SPACESHIP - FULL SHOT - DAY

Four empty pilot seats are seen in f.g., the four glass caskets in

b.g. We HEAR the RHYTHMIC BLEAT of a WARNING SIGNAL, a RUSH OF WIND

as in a rapid descent, and perhaps the ROAR OF RETROJETS. Then, a

great CRASH as the craft hits water. The whole ship shudders on impact.

Loose equipment falls to the cabin floor. CAMERA MOVES DOWN the cabin

aisle as the ship begins to roll in the water and HOLDS on the four

glass caskets. There are THREE LOUD METALLIC CLICKS as the glass

domes of the caskets swing open automatically.

Rate this script:3.3 / 3 votes

William Broyles Jr.

William Dodson "Bill" Broyles Jr. is an American screenwriter, who has worked on the television series China Beach, and the films Apollo 13, Cast Away, Entrapment, Planet of the Apes, Unfaithful, The Polar Express, and Jarhead. more…

All William Broyles Jr. scripts | William Broyles Jr. Scripts

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