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The 'Planet of the Apes' Franchise Has an Incredible List of Writers

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Jul 09, 2014 | 9:22am EDT

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection

The Planet of the Apes franchise has a deep lineage of interesting writers penning different chapters about our future simian overlords. With the latest installment of the franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters this Friday, we've decided to put the spotlight on the scribes that have brought the ape-ocalypse to life throughout the years. 

Rod Sterling
Film:
Planet of the Apes
Notable Works:
The Twilight Zone
Rod Sterling was the creator of the legendary sci-fi anthology TV series The Twilight Zone, whose influences continue to touch every inch of modern sci-fi storytelling. Besides The Twilight Zone, Sterling has also written a number of films, including thrillers like The Yellow Canary and Seven Days in March. He also created another anthology series, Night Gallery, which featured stories focusing on horror, supernatural, and macabre elements.

Michael Wilson
Film: Planet of the Apes
Notable Works: Lawrence of Arabia, It's a Wonderful Life, The Bridge on the River Kwai
Besides co-writing the first entry of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Michael Wilson wrote an astounding number of cinematic classics, including Lawrence of Arabia, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Bridge on the River Kwai.  If Wilson's credits weren't interesting enough, the writer was blacklisted from the Hollywood studio system after being accused of being a communist. During this time, he wrote a number of films overseas. One of which was Salt of the Earth, a film written, produced, and directed by filmmakers blacklisted by Hollywood during the McCarthy era.

Paul Dehn
Films:
Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Notable Works:
Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Murder on the Orient Express
Paul Dehn is the most prolific screenwriter of the franchise, penning scripts for four out of the five original films in the series. Outside of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Dehn has written several spy thrillers including the James Bond film Goldfinger and a film adaptation of John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. He also wrote the screenplay for Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

John William Corrington and Joyce Hooper Corrington
Film:
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Notable Works:
The Omega Man, Boxcar Bertha, General Hospital

This married couple and screenwriting duo has lent its talents to five films over the years. Besides Battle for the Planet of the Apes, they also wrote the screenplay for Omega Man, another apocalyptic film starring Charlton Heston in the lead role, and Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha. The writing team is also known for their work on soap operas, having written for long-running soap staples like General Hospital and One Life to Live.

Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthall
Film:
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Notable Works: Mona Lisa Smile, The Sorcerer Apprentice
Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthall have worked together on a diverse number of projects including Mona Lisa Smile, Star Trek VI, and The Sorcerer Apprentice.  They also, funnily enough, penned the script for Mighty Joe Young, another film about primates, but one with far fewer apocalyptic overtones. Lawrence Konner has also written for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire though without his writing partner.

William Broyles Jr.
Film: Planet of the Apes (2001)
Notable Works: Entrapment, Apollo 13, The Polar Express
, Cast Away
William Broyles Jr. is a bona fide A-list Hollywood screenwriter with numerous films under his belt including Jarhead, Unfaithful, The Polar Express, and Cast Away. His script for for Apollo 13 was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.

Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver 
Film:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Notable Works: Avatar 3, Jurassic World
Married screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver had a handful of films under their belt, but the duo really broke out with their script for 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which revitalized the franchise and earned them a Saturn Award nomination for writing. Ever since, the pair have become a hot commodity for sci-fi blockbusters. Jaffa and Silver were hired to write the upcoming tent-pole films Jurassic World and Avatar 3.

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