In the Planet of the Apes movies, nature gets its revenge on man’s hubris by proving that Darwin was right. Evolution is real, but we were arrogant to think it doesn’t continue, or that our species would remain on top forever. Still, the original film series from the late ’60s (pictured) and early ’70s didn’t do the best job of explaining how the simians took over, even after five movies. Caesar, the chimp who started it all, was born to parents who traveled to our time from the future, creating a time-loop paradox that the movies never explained in a satisfying way.
But 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which has relaunched the franchise (another installment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is due next year), came up with a more plausible explanation: Science, as usual, paved the road to hell with the best intentions. Genetic monkeying-around that was meant to cure Alzheimer’s ended up creating intelligent (and rebellious) apes AND a virus that all but wiped out humanity. Oops.