Peter A. Chernin was a producer of the 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the 2014 movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Chernin, born in Harrison, New York, earned a B.A. in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He was associate publicity director at St. Martin's Press and an editor at Warner Books before he became vice president for development and production at the David Gerber Company, overseeing the production of network TV. He moved on to executive vice president of programming and marketing for Showtime/The Movie Channel Inc. during the mid-1980s and then became president and chief operating officer (COO) of Lorimar Film Entertainment.
In February 1989, Chernin became president of Fox Broadcasting Company's Entertainment Group, which helped develop such shows as The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210 and In Living Color. He was also appointed executive vice president of the Fox Broadcasting Company parent organization. When Joe Roth resigned as Chairman of 20th Century Fox to start up an independent production company in November 1992, Chernin took his place, overseeing such box-office hits as Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Speed and True Lies (both 1994), Braveheart, To Die For and Waiting to Exhale (all 1995), Broken Arrow and Independence Day (both 1996), and helping launch such new divisions as Fox 2000, Fox Family Films and Fox Searchlight.
Director Peter Jackson had been in talks with Joe Roth during 1992, before his departure, about a sixth Planet of the Apes movie starring Roddy McDowall. Roth had reportedly been enthusiastic, but head of production Tom Jacobson took on responsibility for the project and quickly dismissed it. Nevertheless, by late 1993 producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy had pitched another Planet of the Apes revival and Chernin was receptive. With Oliver Stone to serve as executive producer of an up-to-date action movie, Terry Hayes was recruited to write a script. Chernin said Hayes' time-travel action screenplay was "one of the best scripts I ever read" and hoped it would create sequels, spin-off television shows and merchandise, but other Fox executives became frustrated by the contrast between it and their expectations of a family-friendly movie. Dylan Sellers, Jacobson's replacement as head of production, insisted on including comedy elements, and when Hayes turned in his final draft in spring 1995 without them, Sellers fired him and the project fell apart. After learning about his previous Apes concept, Chernin and new head of production Tom Rothman met in 1996 with Peter Jackson, who “re-pitched exactly the same idea to these two high-powered Fox executives who’d never heard it before. Once again it was met with a lot of enthusiasm." However, Jackson turned down the conditions of making his film with Arnold Schwarzenegger as star and James Cameron as producer. Despite all these setbacks, Fox persevered with the idea of a new movie, and eventually released Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes - reimagined in 2001.
In October 1996, Rupert Murdoch named Peter Chernin president and COO of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox, a position he held until June 2009, when his contract expired. After his departure, he launched two new companies: The Chernin Group, scouting for investment opportunities in new technology and digital media; and the more traditional production company Chernin Entertainment, concentrating on feature films and TV series. Its TV productions include A&E’s Breakout Kings and Fox’s Terra Nova and Touch, while the film division - run by Dylan Clark - has a deal under which it is expected to make at least two pictures annually for six years at Fox. In May 2010, Fox gave a green light to Chernin Entertainment’s first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes - another attempt at a reboot of the franchise - which had already been in development at Fox for some years.
Chernin is a Corporate Director for American Express and sits on the Board of 'Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria'. He is also Chairman of 'Malaria No More', a New York-based non-profit organization that was launched in 2006 with the goal of ending all deaths caused by malaria.
- ↑ The Planet of the Apes Chronicles, by Paul A. Woods
- ↑ Tales From Development Hell, by David Hughes
- ↑ 'Monkey Business' (Entertainment Weekly), by Jeffrey Wells
- ↑ Killer Instinct, by Jane Hamsher