Concept art reveals unused, throwback ending for Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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Apr 29, 2019, 7:03 AM EDT (Updated)

The 2011 semi-reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one heck of a good movie. But, the unused ending could’ve made it an excellent bookend to tie into the original 1960s and 1970s films.

We’re not arguing this unused finale would’ve been better than the film’s excellent, filmed conclusion — but, man, it’d have made for one wild reveal on the big screen. Film Sketchr has debuted some concept art from Brian Cunningham, which was created for an ending that was eventually axed (likely to make way for the recent sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

The basic premise is this: At least one draft of the script would’ve ended with ape leader Caesar climbing to the top of an unidentified staircase, then cut forward to an older Caesar as he looks out from twisted metal at the same place. The camera pans back further to reveal he’s standing atop the damaged Statue of Liberty, looking out as New York City burns. Yeah, take it in.

As Cunningham notes, that ending was obviously “a nod the the Charlton Heston scene from the original,” which was (at the time) the shocking reveal that the crazy world of the apes is really our distant future and we're probably doomed. Check out the concept art below of the ununsed ending and let us know what you think:

(Via Film Sketchr)