1968: ‘Apes’ swings into action

March 27, 1968

20th has asked Arthur Jacobs about a sequel to “Planet of the Apes,” result of the swinging, initial reaction — a record opening in London’s Carlton. Jacobs talks to author Pierre Boulle in England today … When asked his opinion of a second film, Charlton Heston, who has a percentage of “Apes,” thought it a gargantuan idea and suggested “Planet of the Apes Meets Wolf Man,” “Son of Planet of the Apes,” “Planet of the Apes and Gidget” and then there is “Planet of the Apes Meets Tarzan of the Apes.”… Heston heads out this weekend to sell the pic in Rome, Milan, Hamburg, Amsterdam — causing him to miss the Academy Awards. But bizness before pleasure … He’s now huddling with USC’s coaching staff to learn quarterbacking before starting “Pro” (called “Number One” when released) this fall. “It’s like learning to conduct an orchestra — or drive a chariot,” sez Heston.

(2006 update: 20th did indeed do a sequel to “Planet of the Apes” — four feature sequels as a matter of fact, and two TV series. The initial feature, released in 1968, had a domestic gross of $32,589,624; the remake, in 2001, $180,011,740. On March 28, Twentieth released the “Legacy DVD Collection” of six “Planet of the Apes” films, plus the “Ultimate Collection” of eight “Planet” DVDs. I appeared in the original playing an ape — and writing a column about the magnificent makeup created by Oscar-winning John Chambers. I still get a residual.)