Andy Serkis

April 19, 2014 | 11:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Fox bets big on dystopia with ‘Apes,’ ‘Maze Runner’

Twentieth Century Fox is trading heavy on dystopia this summer. During its panel Saturday at WonderCon, the studio presented three not-so-optimistic views of the future with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Maze Runner” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” “Dawn” is intended to be a bridge between the studio’s surprise hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the 1968 classic “Planet of the Apes.” Director Matt Reeves was joined onstage by cast members Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, who returned as the intelligent ape, Ceasar, from the previous film. The new movie, which is set to open July 11, picks up years after the end of “Rise,” which concluded with a lethal virus wiping out most of the population. Reeves said the first third of the new film and the opening of the […]
March 31, 2014 | 11:02 a.m.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ trailer offers glimpse of ape army

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' trailer (featured image)
A new TV spot for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” offers a first look at the menacing ape army. The trailer, which premiered during Sunday night’s season finale of “The Walking Dead,” begins with an ominous human voice-over. “You know the scary thing about ‘em?” the narration begins. “They don’t need power, lights, heat. Nothing. That’s their advantage, that’s what makes them stronger.” The teaser, which runs 43 seconds, shows the apes on horseback and, presumably, preparing for battle. Watch it in the video below. “Dawn” is set a decade after the events of 2011′s blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in which Caesar, a genetically evolved chimpanzee portrayed by Andy Serkis through performance capture technology, leads a host of simians to freedom. “Dawn” picks up in a post-apocalyptic future where humankind has been all but […]
Jan. 07, 2014 | 4:31 p.m.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ director Matt Reeves set for third film

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” doesn’t arrive in theaters until July 11, but its director, Matt Reeves, already is set to helm another installment in the sci-fi franchise. Fox confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Reeves will direct a follow-up to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which now becomes the second film in a planned trilogy. The summer release, which stars Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, is set several years after 2011′s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and sees the apes and the humans on the cusp of a war that doesn’t promise to end well for mankind. A trailer for the sequel hints at a world decimated by disease and conflict, but the ranks of the simian followers of Andy Serkis’ genetically evolved ape Caesar — glimpsed near the end of the clip — […]
Dec. 18, 2013 | 7:17 a.m.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ trailer: Caesar stares down the world

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (featured image)
The new trailer for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” has arrived, and the apes and the humans appear to be on the cusp of a war that doesn’t promise to end well for mankind. The trailer for the sequel to Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 hit, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” hints at a world decimated by disease and conflict, but the ranks of the simian followers of Andy Serkis’ genetically evolved ape Caesar — glimpsed near the end of the clip — seem strong. The new footage centers mostly on a packed throng of survivors listening to a speech that sounds like a call to action: “We’ve been through hell together. We spent four years — four years — fighting that virus and another four fighting each other. It was chaos. But you all know what we’re up […]
Jan. 16, 2013 | 2:57 p.m.

‘Hobbit’ FX wiz Joe Letteri on Gollum, the Goblin King and Azog

The Hobbit (featured image)
The visual effects world has never been the glamorous side of Hollywood, but the artists at Weta Digital charged with creating the grotesque Goblin King in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” surely have the best claim to hard labor in this year’s Oscar race. In order to craft the character’s uniquely bloated and beastly look, the team at Weta examined medical journal images of herpes, boils, gangrene, tumors and rashes. They worked overtime to make the Goblin King’s bulbous neck goiter jiggle just so, and to conserve the subtleties of an alternately comic and menacing motion-capture performance delivered by Australian actor Barry Humphries (better known — minus goiter, plus purple wig — as Dame Edna). “He’s a giant, evil goblin,” said Weta visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. “It was all about making him as disgusting as possible, and fine tuning […]
Dec. 18, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.

‘The Hobbit’ collected: Complete coverage of Middle-earth

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” broke a December box-office record by collecting $84.8 million over its debut weekend, but Hero Complex didn’t need the figures to know that J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel would be popular. The first of Peter Jackson’s planned three-part adaptation of Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel, “Unexpected Journey” chronicles the initial leg of Bilbo Baggins’ trek over the Misty Mountains to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarf followers reclaim their lost treasure and their homeland. The second movie, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is due next year, with the final chapter, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” due for release in 2014. We’ve counted down to the film’s theatrical release with exclusive interviews and photo galleries. Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “An Unexpected Journey” in […]
Dec. 11, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.

‘Hobbit’: Peter Jackson, the Hero Complex interview

“‘I’ve always tried to make movies that pull the audience out of their seats. … I want audiences to be transported.” That was Peter Jackson speaking earlier this year about what he was hoping to achieve with his return to Middle-earth. With the first installment in that epic saga, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” set to open Friday, we thought it might be fun to offer you the chance to watch the entirety of Peter Jackson’s conversation with Hero Complex contributor John Horn, which was recorded at Comic-Con International in July, just before the announcement that the two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit” would become a trilogy. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ In the interview, the filmmaker revealed how he selected the footage that was unveiled at the pop culture expo, describing the scenes as “more character-based”  while still speaking […]
Dec. 09, 2012 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Hobbit’: Andy Serkis admits it was difficult to return to Gollum

Sometimes a performance changes an actor’s life– and sometimes it revolutionizes an entire industry. Both occurred when English actor Andy Serkis played the part of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the first photo-realistic movie character created using the technique of performance capture. Now Serkis is reprising his role as Middle-earth’s sallow-skinned “preciousssssss”-seeking cave dweller in Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which opens Dec. 14. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ For Serkis, who has since become a digital acting specialist in movies like “King Kong,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Adventures of Tintin,” it was surprisingly hard to return to a character whom he had helped make iconic. “Every single day of my life I’m reminded of Gollum in some shape or form, with someone walking up to me asking me […]
Jan. 23, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.

‘The Hobbit’: Andy Serkis says Gollum is ‘printed into my DNA’

With Academy Award nominations looming Tuesday morning, there’s been a lot of buzz about a possible supporting actor Oscar nod for Andy Serkis, the performance-capture pioneer who played the resistance fighter chimpanzee Caesar in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Serkis, who helped put motion-capture technology on the map a decade ago with his portrayal of Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” films, received a Critics’ Choice Movie Award nomination for his Caesar performance, and “Apes” co-star James Franco has been campaigning on his behalf for awards recognition. Hero Complex sat down with Serkis earlier this month in a video chat with readers to talk about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and his other projects — including Peter Jackson’s upcoming two-part adaptation of “The Hobbit” and Steven Spielberg’s current release, “The Adventures of Tintin” — and what […]
Jan. 11, 2012 | 5:23 p.m.

Chat with ‘Apes,’ ‘Tintin’ star Andy Serkis Friday

Actor Andy Serkis, photographed in July 2011 before the release of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
In the cutting-edge and ever-expanding world of performance-capture roles on film, Andy Serkis remains the man to go to. He’s almost single-handedly turned an aspect of acting once thought to be fit only for stuntmen and tech geeks into a respected and (dare we say it) Oscar-worthy avenue of performance. Last year, Serkis saved a mostly humdrum summer with his showstopping performance as Caesar, the Spartacus-like simian of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and he can currently be seen in director Steven Spielberg’s performance-capture feature “The Adventures of Tintin” as the seafaring Capt. Haddock. In December, Serkis will step back into his decade-old digital costume as Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Join us on Friday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Pacific for a live chat with Serkis as he discusses his most famous film roles on […]
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