What Is The Mind Blowing Connection Between GRAVITY And PLANET OF THE APES?
There are spoilers for Gravity herewith.
At the end of Gravity Sandra Bullock's Ryan Stone returns to Earth in a Chinese space capsule, landing in a huge lake where the capsule sinks and she must swim to safety. Making her way to the shore, Stone grips the wet sand before getting to her feet, triumphant and reborn, a new person climbing out of the water in a metaphor for both baptismal rebirth and the course of evolution.
At first I was worried that Alfonso Cuaron's film - already sort of on the nose when it came to the emotional stuff - was ending with Stone splashing down in her hometown, Lake Zurich. A quick look at the hills ringing the lake dismissed that, though - Lake Zurich is in the flat-ass midwest. It turns out Cuaron brought his character down in a lake filled with scifi movie history: Lake Powell.
I should have noticed it myself, but it took our own Phil Nobile Jr to alert me to the fact that Ryan Stone comes down in the same lake where Charlton Heston and company crash-landed in Planet of the Apes! For those of you who are into that sort of thing the Doctor Who episodes The Impossible Astronaut and The Wedding of River Song were also shot there.
Gravity shot on the Arizona side of the border, while POTA was shot in Utah, a more accessible spot for filming. Both productions surely chose the lake for the same reason, though - its surroundings are just odd and alien enough to be someplace utterly unfamiliar and strange. For Heston's Taylor it represents the bizarre new world into which he has landed, which at first seems completely alien. For Gravity's Stone it's a strange landscape that represents her new life to come.
I'm going to save you the joke that Bullock's character has found herself on a world where apes evolved from men, but maybe Warner Bros won't - with Gravity looking to be an all-time blockbuster surely someone at the studio is trying to figure out how to make Gravity 2.