Remember at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, when the infected airline pilot heads out to work, sneezes and basically infects the entire planet through an apocalyptic version of six degrees of separation?
Well what if I were to tell you that the movie might have had a very different ending; one that would have been a huge nod to the original Planet of the Apes from 1968.
You damn dirty ape!
Brian Cunningham is a professional concept artist and he's released some of the unused artwork he created for Rise. It's for the "secret" ending that was never actually used, and I gotta say, any fan of the original Apes movie will get a sledgehammer of nostalgia in the face when they see it.
Here's Cunningham's description along with each image:
That image is from a proposed end sequence that was cut from "Rise Of The Apes". In that shot Caesar is going up the staircase inside a large building
...cut to... a second image we see an older tattooed Caesar looking out from twisted metal...
...pull back to reveal he's observing Manhattan on fire from the back of a badly damaged Statue of Liberty..... a nod the the Charlton Heston scene from the original.
Oh. My. God!
Damn you all to Hell!
Of course this unused ending is a direct reference to the epic conclusion of Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor.
It ended with him riding on horseback along a beach, shirtless and dripping with masculinity:
A familiar-looking object looms into view:
At this point Heston knows the game is up:
And he was home all along:
This is without doubt one of the most iconic endings in cinema, so for that reason I'm glad Rise decided not to "ape" it. And you have to look no further than the muddled ending of Tim Burton's remake for evidence that paying too of close an homage to the original can be problematic.
Also, this unused ending in Rise was conceived before the script for the sequel had been written. Both Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are set in the San Fransisco area, so having Caesar travel to New York City would have been both a plot and logistical nightmare.
Should this "secret" ending have been used in Rise?