‘The Planet Of The Apes’ Original Controversial Ending Is Available — Where To See It


‘The Planet Of The Apes’ Original Controversial Ending Is Available — Where To Watch‘The Planet Of The Apes’ Original Controversial Ending Is Available — Where To Watch

The original Planet of the Apes from 1968 had a mind-blowing ending that has stunned audiences for generations, but was not the originally-intended conclusion. Actor Charlton Heston, playing 20th century astronaut George Taylor, who finds himself in a world where apes reign supreme and humans are savages, asked that the final scene not involve the woman Taylor has met, Nova (Linda Harrison), be pregnant with his child. Everyone agreed, and the sequence was cut, though now fans can, in a sense, check it out for themselves.

Had the original ending remained in place, it would have impacted the storyline of the 1970 sequel, Beneath The Planet Of Apes., which, during the making of Planet, no one involved had an inkling would even be a possibility. The reason for the scene’s removal was fear that it would take the story in a new direction that would diminish the impact of what we got in the end.

Why was the original ending for ‘The Planet of the Apes’ removed?

PLANET OF THE APES, Charlton Heston, 1968, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Remembering shooting the scene, actress Linda Harrison, who plays Nova, had to act as though the character “had no understanding of what they were talking about, she had no power, nor did she feel it was her place to know. If Nova were a dog, don’t you think a dog would be reacting the same way?” Given Heston’s limited involvement in Beneath, it would have been awkward, to say the least, to have a pregnant Nova walking around.

For anyone looking to see how that cut scene played out, there is a comic book adaptation of the film under the umbrella title Adventures on the Planet of the Apes, written by Doug Moench and drawn by George Tuska, that features it (see below). In an interview with the 1998 fanzine Ape Chronicles: The Official Planet of the Apes Fan Club magazine, Harrison confirms its accuracy.

planet of the apes original endingplanet of the apes original ending
ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, Kim Hunter, Sal Mineo, Roddy McDowall, 1971 TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.”

In the comic, Zira tells Taylor that Nova is not just ill, but carrying his child, to which he reacts with shock and says, “So you see, Doctor, I’m not an altogether different breed from here.” Marvel, it should be noted, is currently publishing a prequel comic about Nova that proves her to be more human than viewers think her to be.

Planet of the Apes comics excerptPlanet of the Apes comics excerpt
This is an illustrated version of the cut sequence from Planet of the Apes (©20th Century Fox/Marvel Comics)

The new Nova-focused series, Beyond the Planet of the Apes, also features a mission to the Forbidden Zone, an important location in the first two Apes films, with dangerous evidence of human civilization. Needless to say, her excised pregnancy is not a part of it.


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