Planet of the Apes started life in 1963 as a quirky work by Pierre Boulle, the French literary novelist famous for The Bridge over the River Kwai. His concept of a world where humans are ruled over by apes proceeded to become one of the biggest multi-media sensations in history.
The 1968 Charlton Heston motion-picture adaptation of Boulle's book was celebrated and successful but was just the beginning. By 1973, said picture had spawned four sequels. It then spun off a live-action TV series, which in turn spun off the animated TV show Return to the Planet of the Apes. With this, comic books, novelizations, and a tsunami of merchandising, the late '60s and first half of the '70s had a distinctly simian flavor. A new generation was introduced to the concept when, in 2001, Tim Burton's updating of the series appeared in cinemas. This itself was rebooted a decade later in the form of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its two sequels. Yet despite all the fantasy (and money-chasing), the series has always been marked by thoughtfulness, exploring serious themes alien to most franchises.
Planet of the Apes: The Complete History explores every aspect of this phenomenon—from books to films, comic books to television shows, and video games to merchandise—providing an overview that is truly definitive. With the help of new and exclusive interviews with Planet of the Apes producers, directors, writers, actors, and makeup artists, Sean Egan attempts to gain an understanding of how a media property changed the world.
Sean Egan has contributed to Billboard, Book Collector, Classic Rock, Reader's Digest, Record Collector, Tennis World, Total Film, Uncut, RollingStone.com, and more. He has written or edited two-dozen books, including works on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Clash, Manchester United, Coronation Street, Tarzan, James Bond, and William Goldman. His critically acclaimed novel, Sick of Being Me, was published in 2003, while his 2008 collection of short stories, Don't Mess with the Best, carried cover endorsements from Booker Prize–winners Stanley Middleton and David Storey. His 2002 book, Jimi Hendrix and the Making of "Are You Experienced," was nominated for an Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.