Before 1968's Planet Of The Apes took the shape we know today, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling scripted it as a more ambitious take on Pierre Boulle’s original novel. He wanted our human star to stumble into an advanced ape society, one living in a city and parodying modern life, but that interpretation was deemed too intricate and expensive, and screenwriter Michael Wilson was brought in to rewrite Serling’s script to take place in a more primitive ape village.
That original vision has been lost ever since, but thanks to comics publisher Boom! Studios, it’ll soon take shape as a graphic novel written by comedian and apparent Apes superfan Dana Gould. “As someone who knows the original films by heart, I’m honored to present Rod Serling’s original vision to the public,” Gould told The Hollywood Reporter in an article announcing the book. “It’s the world you know, yet it’s also very different—very political, very Rod Serling. For me, this is all about him.”
The book, called Planet of the Apes: Visionaries, is set to be released in August as part of Boom!’s celebration of the original film’s 50th anniversary. Apes has a long history of comic book tie-ins, starting as far back as a Japanese manga adaptation of the 1968 film released the same year. Boom! has held the license since 2011 and published a number of books based on both the new and old Apes movies, as well as collections from previous publishers, like Marvel. To give us a early preview of what Visionaries’ urban ape society looks like, Boom! has released the book’s pretty great cover, which was illustrated by Eisner Award winning artist Paolo Rivera: