War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest film in the Planet of the Apes franchise, is now playing in theaters. This is the third in a rebooted prequel trilogy that takes place long before the events of the 1968 original starring Charlton Heston, so how much time passes between these prequel movies and the original?
The original Planet of the Apes is set approximately 1,950 years after War for the Planet of the Apes. In the classic film, the year is 3978.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes place in 2016, or at least the third act does following a time skip of a few years. We know this because there’s a scene in the second half of the movie in which we see a newspaper, and the date is Monday, July 18th, 2016. During the course of that film, the astronauts from the original film take off from Earth, so they wind up landing back on Earth 1,962 years into the future. (This is a bit of an inconsistency, as in the original, the astronauts left in 1972.)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes place 10 years after the events of Rise, and therefore the year in that film in 2026. This is confirmed on the official website for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which says the movie is set in 2026. War for the Planet of the Apes takes place two years after Dawn, and so we pick up in this third film in the year 2028, precisely 1,950 years before the original.
War is certainly not an example of a prequel that lines right up with the original like Rogue One. But director Matt Reeves says that there’s more movies left to go that would bring us closer to the events of the 1968 classic.
“The world of this movie still doesn’t look like the world of the 68 movie,” Matt Reeves recently said in an interview with Screen Rant. “Caesar’s apes are not the same as the apes in that movie. So the idea is we’re kind of telling these giant, epic, almost chapter-after-chapter of a Russian Ape novel. Tolstoy of the Apes – how do we get to that 68 movie? So we think there’s a lot more stories.”