It came as a slight disappointment that not one of the nearly 1,000 people who arrived at Monday night’s premiere of “Planet of the Apes” at the Ziegfeld took advantage of the pun and came dressed in a monkey suit.
But judging from the mob scene — which included a red carpet stacked with paparazzi three deep and the famous likes of Grace Jones, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Lilli Taylor, Amanda Peet, James Gandolfini, Molly Ringwald and Shaquille O’Neal — it wasn’t due to any apparent lack of enthusiasm for the film.
“This is so overwhelming. I had no idea it’d be like this,” said co-star Helena Bonham Carter, looking like a startled deer as she made her way into the theater.
As the crowd filed into the after-party at Roseland, a chorus of oohs and ahs rose as revelers glimpsed the fantasy jungle decor, which included loincloth-clad ladies dancing in cages while apes — fake ones — rustled around in the hundreds of potted palms that had been brought in.
“I’m still shaking from the whole experience,” Estella Warren said as she was hustled into the VIP section to join fellow cast members Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and Kris Kristofferson, director Tim Burton and his wife, Lisa Marie.
But the crowning moment occurred when Mark Wahlberg came face to face with his vaunted predecessor, Charlton Heston, who passed on the torch with a single compliment.
“Mark,” he said, “you picked up where we left off.”