Rise of the Planet of the Apes

May 20, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Exclusive: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ prequel book’s 1st chapter

The cover of the prequel novel, "Firestorm."
The July 11 release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, get your fill of ape-on-human warfare with “Firestorm,” the official “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” prequel novel written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Hero Complex has an exclusive excerpt of the book’s first chapter, in full below. “Firestorm,” due out from Titan on May 27, promises to bridge the gap between the upcoming sequel and the 2011 hit film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “Let Me In”), is set 10 years after the earlier movie, a reboot of the sci-fi franchise inspired by Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel that brought in more than $480 million at the worldwide box office. The new film from Warner Bros. posits […]
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 […]
Dec. 12, 2011 | 6:09 a.m.

‘Rise of the Apes’ mural: Melrose Avenue gets guerilla art

Apes
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.

‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’: 21 nods to classic ‘Apes’

Caesar leads a revolution in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." (Weta Digital/20th Century Fox)
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.

‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’: Weta’s proof of concept scene

apehug
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 […]
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