Rise of the 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 […]
Jan. 11, 2012 | 5:23 p.m.
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.
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 […]