Charlton Heston looking afraid in Planet of the Apes
Movies - TV
The Twilight Zone Did Planet Of The Apes’ Famous Twist Ending First
The twist ending of 1968's "Planet of the Apes" delivered shock, awe, and fear over our world becoming unrecognizable one day. It was inspired by a twist from "The Twilight Zone."
In "Apes," space traveler George Taylor (Charlton Heston) gets flung through a wormhole into a world run by a complex hierarchy of apes that was on Earth all along.
The 1960 "I Shot An Arrow Into the Sky" episode of "Twilight" sees astronauts who crash land on a desert planet and turn on each other over resources and leadership.
The last survivor left, Officer Corey (Dewey Martin), heaves himself over a rocky crest to discover that he's not in outer space, but actually near Reno, Nevada.
"Twilight" creator Rod Sterling worked with Michael Wilson on the "Apes" script, which was adapted from a Pierre Boulle novel. The final version of "Apes" is a mix of their ideas.
The idea for the "Twilight" episode's twist ending came from a woman named Madelon Champion, who approached Sterling with the idea. Sterling recalled Champion's pitch to him.
In "The Twilight Zone Companion," he shared that she said, "'What [...] if three guys landed on what they thought was an asteroid and it turned out to be outside of Las Vegas?'"
Serling added, "I paid five hundred dollars for that one on the spot." Apparently, this was the first and only time Serling ever bought an idea from someone arbitrarily.