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In 2029, astronauts trains chimpanzees on board space station USS Oberon in order that they replace Man during future high-risks space explorations. While a magnetic storm approaches, they send the chimpanzee Pericles so as to study the phenomenon. But all communications are suddenly interrupted. Disobeying his superiors, Leo Davidson embarks in one of the experimental vessels and hurries to rescue Pericles. Just as the animal, he loses control of the spaceship and crash lands in the jungle of an unknown planet.
Princess Ari with Limbo,
the slave reseller
Soon, Leo understands that this planet is hostile and strange. Such as a herd of wild animals escaping a predator, a panic-stricken human group is hunted by talking chimps. Leo and the group are captured, put in cage and taken to Ape City; a city where they are going to be sold as slave.
What happened on this planet to make monkeys dominate the human race ? Leo cannot believe such a thing and doesn't accept anymore the idea to be the slave of an animal. Helped by a few rebels and Ari, a Princess Apes, who believes that humans and primates can coexist pacifically, Leo escapes and leads them on the area of his crash to give the proof of the human intelligence.
The group is hunted by the terrible Thade
But the group is rapidly taken in hunting by the terrible Thade, General of the Great Ape Army, and his second in command and friend Attar. Thade who has discovered that Leo is not from this world must imperatively stop him before he provokes the human insurrection. Thade and his family are the direct descendants of the Almighty Semos. Confirmed by his father who transmits Semos's secret in the generations, he knows very well that Man and his technology was here before the Ape people. With the autorization of the Senate, Thade receives the green fire for the total annihilation of the human race. In the swamp where he crashed, Leo recuperates a transmitter/receiver that allows him to notice human signals. They came to rescue him...
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
Everybody follow the astronaut who directs towards Calima, mythical places of the Ape society. Although he never promised anything to them, affluent human clouds to Calima and see Leo considered as the savior who will lead the rebellion against the primate tyranny.
For the humans, Leo is their savior
Arrived on place, Leo understands that nobody will come to rescue him. Calima is in fact his spaceship crushed here hundred of years ago. Taken in the magnetic storm, the astronaut had jumped into the future. His compatriots left to his rescue but failed to their tour. Calima, is in fact only some stemming letters of a panel Leo knows well "CAution LIve aniMAl". Chimpanzees of the space station had rebelled and a new society was born on this mysterious planet.
Leo fighting with the infamous General Thade
The Great Ape Army marchs on Calima. While everybody await for their savior's orders, Leo decides to receive the enemy the better he can. A lost in advance battle engage on the sacred earth when suddenly an identical capsule to Leo's one comes to freeze the fight. The chimpanzee Pericles having equally made a jump in the future lands in the middle of the battle. To the Ape eyes, Pericles is the Almighty the prophetic told about. In the exception of General Thades, Apes and Humans seem now to think that it is possible to live together. Leo borrows the vessel of the chimpanzee and profits the magnetic storm to return at his home; but he'll have a great surprise...
This movie does not concern a remake of the 1968's version, but rather a new version according to Tim Burton, nearing elsewhere closer to Pierre Boulle's novel that its older cinematographic version. Notice the wink with the appearance (difficultly perceptible) of Charlton Heston in the role of the father of the General Thade.