"You know one day they'll tell a story about a human who came from the stars and changed our world. Some will say it was just a fairy tale, but, it was never real. But I'll know."

Ari is a central supporting character in the Planet of the Apes (2001) movie. She is played by Helena Bonham Carter, partner of the movie's director Tim Burton.


Ari was the daughter of Senator Sandar, a high ranking member of the Ape Senate. Ari had a passion for life and strived for a world where apes and humans lived as equals. She was idealistic and despised the way the humans were treated. Ari spoke publicly about her outrageous beliefs, and used her father as a shield from the authorities. When Ari spotted astronaut Leo Davidson in a cage, she just had to have him. She bought him and the female Daena, whom he particularly liked, because she saw their rebelliousness. From there she became captivated by Leo whom she viewed as unique. Ari helped Leo and a band of others escape Ape City and followed them into the Forbidden Zone. General Thade, was infatuated with her and made several attempts to woo her, but she always rejected him for his violent attitude towards humans. Thade was a suitor for her affections, explained this escape as a kidnapping of Ari and used this to justify his absolute power under martial law. When Thade's army marched on humanity, and Ari and her human friends waited in Calima for their arrival, where Thade branded her with a branding iron for her human loving ways. She may have struggled to live up to her ideals but was the vital link between the human rebels and the more sympathetic members of ape society. Leo left his chimp Pericles in Ari's care before sharing a kiss with her and leaving the planet.

In the comics

Many years later, in the events of Dark Horse Comics' The Human War and Planet of the Apes comics #1-6 (a.k.a. Old Gods and Blood Lines), Attar went on a quest to find his old ally. He would have eventually found her on a remote island had the comic series continued.[1]


  • 'Ari' derives from Ariadne.[2] The name is also 'Zira' backwards, without the 'Z' (Ari was partly inspired by Zira from the original movie).
  • In the first treatment of William Broyles' story, Ari is the daughter of Mithras, deceased Emperor of Derkein. She is engaged to Centurion Baldar, whose friend Thade is crowned new Emperor. Thade arrests Baldar and plots to marry Ari, but Baldar kills Thade in revenge. Baldar then marries Ari and they rule Derkein together.[2] In the first draft script of the film, Ari refuses the crown of her deceased father King Mithras, preferring that the Senate should govern Derkein as a republic. After her forced marriage to Thade, and Thade's death, Ari is proclaimed Queen of Derkein.[3]
  • Mirroring the uproar concerning an ape/human Hybrid Child appearing in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Fox executives were opposed to the idea that Carter's character would be the love interest of Mark Wahlberg's character, thinking it 'weird and unnatural'. Tim Burton had a love scene planned, but even an implied love scene was rejected.[4]


External Links


  1. Timeline of the Planet of the Apes: The Definitive Chronology, by Rich Handley
  2. 2.0 2.1 Annals of the Planet Ashlar Treatment, by William Broyles Jr. (4 August 1999)
  3. The Visitor First Draft Script, by William Broyles Jr. (24 September 1999)
  4. Planet of the Apes Fanclub news page


Planet of the Apes - The Chronicle of Ashlar
Planet of the Apes TB
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Main Characters
Leo Davidson | Ari | Thade | Attar | Krull | Limbo | Daena
Supporting Characters
Grace Alexander | Aspasia | Bon | Leeta | | Thade's Niece | Tuug | Karl Vasich | Woman in Cart | Zaius | Sandar | Nado | Nova | Pericles | Semos | Birn | Gunnar | Karubi | Tival
Ashlar | Calima | Oberon | Derkein
Comics, Novels & Magazines
The Human War | Planet Of The Apes (2001) Graphic Novel | Planet of the Apes (2001) (Junior Novelisation) | Planet of the Apes (2001) Concept Art & Costume Tests
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (2001 Soundtrack Album)
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