It's Monkey-See, Monkey-Do at Ape School

Plus: Councilman Elvis, and Faux Julia's Wax Oscar

By Buck Wolf

April 17,. 2001 — Long before Mark Wahlberg set foot on the Planet of the Apes, film producers had been talking about the cinematic possibility of sex between a man and a super-intelligent monkey.

News about inter-mammalian love emerged this week, when five-time Academy Award-winning special effects master Rick Baker told the New York Daily News that director Tim Burton wanted Wahlberg's astronaut character to get it on with a sexy chimpanzee scientist played by Helena Bonham Carter.

Burton "wanted to have this sexual tension between [the two]. Tim wanted her to be sexually attractive to men," Baker said.

Of course, even between consenting primates, that's bestiality, not to mention a whole new spin on Charlton Heston's big line from the 1968 original, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape."

But American audiences apparently still aren't ready for a little gratuitious sex involving a woman with sideburns, a hairy chest and knuckles that drag on the floor. Half-Human, Half-Ape Love Child

As radical as it sounds, Ape producers have been toying with the idea of man-ape love ever since the first Planet of the Apes sequel in 1970. Rod Serling, Pierre Boulle and the other writers kicked around ideas for a half-human, half-simian love child.

But when Beneath the Planet of the Apes reached the big screen, producers decided that this was still a family film, and most families don't want to think about what happens when primates share bananas, so to speak.

It was at this point in the Ape saga that Heston grew disenchanted and insisted that his character launch a doomsday missile that would blow up the world — and save moviegoers from another sequel.

The world did end in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, but the series continued, thanks to some time-traveling chimps, allowing a new generation of marketeers to sell lunchboxes, action figures, and related paraphernalia through three more Ape flicks, a TV show and cartoon.

With the new Ape film set for release on July 27 — and details still tightly under wraps — we'll just have to wait and see how frisky it gets.