Tim Roth Explains Burton’s “Apes” Ending

Derided upon releases, perhaps the most lingering legacy of Tim Burton’s attempt to reboot the “Planet Of The Apes” franchise back in 2001 was its memorable WTF ending.

Mark Wahlberg’s astronaut took off in an escape pod, passed back through the time-shifting electromagnetic storm he went through in the first place and ended up back on Earth – an Earth where the villain General Thade (Tim Roth) was now immortalised in the place the Lincoln memorial used to be, whilst apes were now running society.

Many are still scratching their heads over the scene as narratively it made little sense. In a new interview during promotional rounds for “Selma,” Roth himself was asked by Crave about his General Thade character and that ending, which can only be explained if Thade went back in time to Earth at an earlier point than when Wahlberg arrived:

“I think it was he took over, he took control. [Laughs] I think the idea was when they shunted in time that way, he was the President of the Planet of the Apes. [Laughs] Brilliant, I thought. It’s crazy stuff. I liked it. I had a good time making it. It was in the old style. It wasn’t too much CG trickery.”

Burton’s “Planet of the Apes” made a very solid $362 million at the global box office, even so the the perception was that it was a disappointment and so the studio opted out of proceeding with a sequel. A decade later, the studio tried again with “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” which became a critical and financial success.