|“||What's Dr. Zira trying to prove?||”|
— The Hunt Leader
When Taylor, Dodge and Landon reached the primitive human inhabitants of this planet, they were almost immediately interrupted by the sound of hunting horns and ran away with the terrified humans. Taylor could not believe his eyes when he saw the Hunt Leader - a gorilla, dressed, armed, and on horseback.
The Hunt Leader appeared in close-up shortly into the hunt scene, dropping his arm to signal the use of the nets. He was then the middle gorilla when the three gorilla hunters got their picture taken by the photographer, and was seen again chatting with Zaius in the 'outside cages' scene, where he said he "doesn't understand these animal psychologists."
- In the the final shooting script, a scene appears in which a group of gorilla hunters stop Zira and Lucius and try to commandeer their cart (which holds the escaping Taylor and Nova). The Hunt Leader is only dissuaded when informed that the humans are rabid, and as they ride away he spits "I still say the only good human is a dead human". Photos of the scene exist, suggesting that it was filmed but deleted from the final cut of the movie. The Hunt Leader's bitter comment was later used by General Ursus in the follow-up, Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- In Pierre Boulle's original novel the hunters arrive in landrovers and dressed in the uniforms of the British hunting elite, but the overall essence is much the same.
- Though the Hunt Leader and Marcus are often assumed to be the same character, this is not the case, as they were played by two different actors.
- Norman Burton would later play a General in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, and Yalu, Galen's father, in the Planet of the Apes TV series.
- The gorilla in the middle of the photograph at the hunt scene is identified in the 2011 novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes as Sub-Chief Cerek, Marcus' deputy as leader of the Simian Secret Security Police Force. Though loyal to Marcus, he sympathised with - and offered his support to - Ursus' cause and felt that the orangutans had maintained control by dividing the gorillas against each other. He became Chief after Marcus' death, his first duty to dispose of Zao and Mungwortt.
- The Hunt Leader speaks to Zaius as a friend and almost as an equal, unlike any other gorilla; he must be one of the most senior ranking gorillas and a leading member of society, somewhat similar to the role of Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- In Rod Serling's earlier script treatments, the Hunt Leader was an ape named 'Mr. Digby'. Zira telephoned him when her newly-discovered astronaut captive wanted to find his crew-mates.
- According to The Ape newspaper distributed in theatres showing the movie in 1968, the hunt was carried out by the 'Gorilla Scouting Corps', "whose responsibility is the control of the large bands of human animals known to be roaming the more remote but fertile areas to the North of the Capital foraging for food". The corn field where the humans were captured was "skirting the Eastern edge of Forbidden Zone." The same publication also suggested the hunters were under the direction of Head of Security Marcus.
- Planet of the Apes
- Planet of the Apes Magazine: Planet of the Apes (issue #2)
- Adventures on the Planet of the Apes: Planet of the Apes (issue #2)
- ↑ Final Shooting Script at Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive
- ↑ 'Planet of the Apes' promotional material