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War for the Planet of the Apes is less than a month away from gracing movie theaters with (if early buzz is to be believed) sheer levels of awesome. We've been very lucky that one of the most classic sci-fi series has just had three really good films in a row, but it wasn't always like this. Back in 2001, Twentieth Century Fox tried to make a new Planet of the Apes reboot franchise with Mark Wahlberg in the lead. As Wahlberg recently admitted, it wasn't very good.
It was an amazing experience working with Tim. I think we kind of set the franchise back a little bit.
Mark Wahlberg was a guest on The Graham Norton Show alongside Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson, who are starring in this summer's War for the Planet of the Apes. People will remember that Mark Wahlberg starred in his own Planet of the Apes movie back in 2001, which was financially successful but critically panned. When asked about his experience making the movie, the actor said it was a great time but that it probably set the franchise back a bit.
That's a pretty accurate statement. Planet of the Apes was intended as a pseudo-remake of the classic 1968 film starring Charlton Heston, and the original plan was to do more sequels. Directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, and Helena Bonham Carter, the film used practical makeup to make its intelligent apes come to life. However, Fox opted not to pursue a sequel, and tabled their plans for the Apes franchise until making the 2011 prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That, of course, turned out to be a successful move, spawning two critically adored sequels.
Honestly, it's a bit of a shame, because Burton's Planet of the Apes had a huge WTF cliffhanger ending that we'll never know the answer to. At the end, Mark Wahlberg's astronaut successfully leaves the ape-ruled future timeline and returns to his present (2001). However, he finds that apes are already in charge (dressed in normal clothes and driving cars and such), and it ends with him getting arrested by policemen apes in front of an ape version of the Lincoln Memorial. You can watch and marvel at the whole thing in the video below.
That Planet of the Apes may not be very good, but War for the Planet of the Apes almost certainly is. That movie is directed by Matt Reeves and hits theaters on July 14, 2017.