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Finally! Planet of the Apes Revisited To Be Published!

UPDATE: Here's the latest news on the book from author Joe Russo:

"The book will be out July 2001 from St. Martin's Press and will be called Planet of the Apes Revisited. They are gearing up now with production and will be pushing it right around the time of the new movie. This is the final weeks before the project has to be finalized -- so if there's any additions -- now is the time."

(Webmaster Notes: See article below for information on how to contribute.)

Updated: October 24, 2000


Buy Now From Amazon.Com

Nearly fifteen years ago, I picked up a copy of Starlog Magazine which contained an article called "Planet of the Apes Revisited" (and have re-read it many times). It was an excerpt from a book-in-progress of the same name about the Planet of the Apes film saga, TV Series, and more. This was a book I was dying to read. Every couple of years or so I would go into book stores and comic book shops and ask about it. Most had never heard of it. One had, but all they knew was that it had never been published. When we started this web page, that article was the first item posted. We were thrilled to see that the book was listed with and tried to order it, but eventually learned that the book hadn't been published after all. Fortunately, we were able to get the whole scoop from author JOE RUSSO (another big thanks to LINDA HARRISON for getting us in touch with him).

And now, finally, we are thrilled to be able to tell you that the book is about to be published! Not only that, but it's getting top-notch treatment. We've been sitting on this news for a while, waiting for the details to be ironed out, and have been about to bust. After all this time, we felt this deserved a special announcement. So, here with all the details in a Forbidden Zone exclusive, is author JOE RUSSO...

Forbidden Zone: So, the big question! When is the book coming out?
Joe Russo:
The release date will probably be somewhere between August and November, 2000. That's just my approximation based on the contract guidelines, but anything is possible -- later OR earlier.

FZ: What can you tell us about it?
First of all, the actual release title is uncertain as yet. It will probably either be PLANET OF THE APES REVISITED or THE MAKING OF THE PLANET OF THE APES ( REVISITED is my original title and I'm hoping to keep it). It's being published by St. Martin's Press. The book is scheduled as a hardcover, approximately 230-250 pages, and will feature color illustrations. The Forward will most likely be written by Charlton Heston. It will include many rare photos, interviews, studio/shooting details, and will describe the numerous script variations. It will probably be dedicated to Arthur P. Jacobs AND Roddy McDowall, unquestionably the two most influential figures in the history of the series (along with Heston, of course, who's "starpower" was instrumental in getting the film approved).

FZ: Can APES fans contribute in any way?
Yes. I am anxious for fan contributions -- ideas, photos (especially). Anything is welcome. For those interested in contributing, I am looking specificly for photos of the 1998 Apes "reunion" with Charlton Heston and the rest of the cast, photos of rare foreign magazine covers, movie material, toys, any behind-the-scenes photos, and any "obscure" interviews with the cast and crew. Feedback, suggestions, and contributions from APES fans are encouraged. It's been quite a number of years since my involvment in the clique of POTA fandom, and I'd like to know what the newer generation of APES fans' perspective is.

FZ: How can fans reach you?
Just send it to my address: Joe Russo c/o PO Box 917, Saddle Brook, New Jersey, 07663.

FZ: Who have you interviewed for the book?
I interviewed virtually everyone: Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Linda Harrison, Natalie Trundy, Claude Akins, James Franciscus, Severn Darden, Lou Wagner, Ted Post, Lee Thompson, Don Taylor, Don Murray, Mort Abrahams, Richard Zanuck, Jack Hirshberg, John Chambers, etc.

FZ: How long have you been working on it?
We actually started doing serious research for this book in 1983-84. The bulk of it was 84-86, with a lot of loose ends being done now. Back then, more people were still living, memories were clearer, etc. We also had access to incredibly rare material which will be incorporated in the text and illustrations.

FZ: Are Larry Landsman and Edward Gross still involved?
Yes, both Larry Landsman and Ed Gross are involved in the book. It will be published by the three of us.

FZ: How does it feel, finally nearing publication, after all these years?
It has been a long, difficult road getting this book published. I liken it very much to the experiences Arthur Jacobs had getting the first APES film off the ground.

FZ: Of all the movie- and TV-related books that come out every year, and especially since PLANET OF THE APES has been such an influential film series, it's unbelievable that no one would want to publish it until now.
We were constantly rejected. "No, sorry." "Nice idea, but..." "Not commercial," etc. I felt the time would be right SOMEDAY. So finally that time has come and I think APES fans will be pleased with the results.