Planet of the Apes
Jan. 23, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.
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 […]
Dec. 12, 2011 | 6:09 a.m.
We don’t give out an award for the best film of the year here at Hero Complex but if we did, well, the name on the 2011 plaque would probably be “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” That’s right, even with all of the sci-fi, fantasy and super-hero films that soared across the screen this year, director Rupert Wyatt’s ape epic was the one that surprised us most, stayed with us the longest and delivered the most primal (and primate) emotion in a film of the fantastic. The movie arrives this week on Blu-ray and DVD and to promote the release the folks over at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have brought in Australian artist Anthony Lister to create a Melrose Avenue mural that will, via collage, present the sad saga of Caesar and the beginning of Earth’s first true banana republic. Lister began work […]
Aug. 11, 2011 | 7:48 a.m.
Charlton Heston died in 2008, but the Academy Award winner gets a few seconds of screen time in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” this summer’s prequel to the sci-fi franchise Heston launched in 1968. Heston’s moment — a quick shot of his 1965 movie “The Agony and the Ecstasy” playing on a TV screen at a nasty kennel for apes – is just the most obvious of dozens of references to the earlier “Apes” films embedded in “Rise,” a deliberate bid by screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver to acknowledge the great hairy history of the film series. “We felt from the beginning we need to create a story that could stand on its own and totally separate from the ‘Planet of the Apes’ series, but we wanted to pay honor to the originals,” said Jaffa, whose script is the […]
Aug. 05, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.
One of the earliest visual effects shots Weta Digital delivered to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” director Rupert Wyatt was a closeup of the film’s lead chimp, Caesar (Andy Serkis), in a moment of guilt and confusion. Born with hyper-intelligence thanks to an Alzheimer’s drug and raised by humans, Caesar had just tapped into his ape instinct and rampaged violently through a suburban neighborhood. Serkis filmed the scene wearing a motion capture suit and head rig, and it was up to the artists at Weta to retain the look of contrition and bewilderment on his face while turning him into a chimpanzee. “We needed the audience to understand what Caesar was feeling with no dialogue,” said Joe Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor at Weta. “Andy had delivered the performance with his eyes, with his whole body, and we […]
Aug. 04, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.
An intimate dinner table scene in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” foreshadows how the balance of power between humans and simians is about to change, when an exceptional young chimp named Caesar (Andy Serkis) reminds an aging Alzheimer’s patient named Charles (John Lithgow) how to use a fork. “It’s an extraordinary moment when a chimp is teaching a human being how to do something basic,” said Lithgow. “There is this tenderness where Caesar is more capable than the old man. And there is a grain of plausibility there.” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which opens Friday, is a prequel to the storied science fiction franchise launched in 1968 about a world where hyper-intelligent apes rule over wordless human slaves. In the new film, a scientist named Will (James Franco) is seeking a cure for the Alzheimer’s […]
Aug. 03, 2011 | 3:26 p.m.
If performing apes had a union, a picture of Andy Serkis would be pinned to the office dartboard. The 47-year-old British actor has stolen two of the greatest simian roles of the 21st century right out of their hairy, prehensile hands: first, the title primate in Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong” and now Caesar, a sentient, wordless chimpanzee who becomes a Che Guevara-like revolutionary in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Opening Friday, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a reboot of the science fiction film franchise inspired by French author Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel about a planet where hyper-intelligent apes rule over mute human slaves. The new movie, from British director Rupert Wyatt, is the origin tale of the young ape who sparked that subversion of power. The story begins in present-day San Francisco, where […]
July 21, 2011 | 6:40 p.m.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” returns a storied sci-fi epic to screen but the creative team promised fans at Comic-Con International that they would see an entirely new vision with this seventh “Apes” feature film. “It’s never been possible to tell this story, technologically,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” director Rupert Wyatt told the audience, explaining why Fox is revisiting the franchise just a decade after Tim Burton interpreted the story about chimps that achieve humanlike levels of intelligence. “We wanted to tell our story without using live apes for any number of reasons. It would be a cruel irony to tell the story of the exploited and repressed and use live apes to do so.” Andy Serkis, who delivers a motion-capture performance as lead ape Caesar, appeared to explain why he took this role after playing an […]
July 07, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.
In “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” a reboot of the sci-fi franchise due in theaters Aug. 5, a scientist’s attempt to cure Alzheimer’s disease leads to the development of some highly intelligent — and dangerous — apes. A new app 20th Century Fox has released for iPhones and iPads makes that fantastical premise seem a lot more plausible. The app includes a game in which a user has the choice of playing the “easy,” “hard” or most difficult “ape” level. The game is based on a short-term memory test conducted at Kyoto University in 2007 in which the numbers 1 to 9 appear onscreen in random configurations and then are quickly covered up. The player has to remember those positions and touch the squares in numeric order to pass to the next round. When the Japanese researchers pitted […]
June 26, 2011 | 10:55 a.m.
As the summer ramps up with a slew of testosterone-fueled action hero flicks such as “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Cowboys & Aliens,” here’s a gallery of 18 women from the big screen who can do everything their male counterparts can, and often in heels and lipstick. – Noelene Clark twitter.com/noeleneclark RECENT AND RELATED: LaBeouf on Megan Fox’s absence (photos) Rough-edged LaBeouf says he’s ready to grow up LaBeouf: New “Transformers” is best 3-D film ever Bay wants you to forget last “Transformers” Bay: “There’s a lot of poison on the Internet … whatever” “Avatar” sequel will dive into the oceans of Pandora Bay talks about Shia LaBeouf’s dark moods Cameron: ‘Avatar’ is my most personal film Bay’s payday? $75 million … and counting
April 13, 2011 | 7:16 a.m.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” chat, Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) There’s a key difference between the simian stars in every prior version of “Planet of the Apes” and the ones who will appear in this summer’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” — the power of speech. “Caesar has got to carry the scenes with no dialogue,” said Joe Letteri, who is supervising the digital creation of the apes in the film for Weta Digital, Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based company that was behind the visual effects in “Avatar,” “King Kong” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. “We had to figure out how to portray a lot of the emotion just through the eyes, which is something we learned on Kong and with ['Lord of the Rings' villain] Gollum.” In the future-set 1968 Charlton Heston film that […]