Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

The apes are back!

The Planet of the Apes franchise is coming back yet again this summer for another go but this time it’s quite different from the previous six iterations. None of the previous tellings have really tried to explain how these apes came to have human-like speech and cognitive abilities.

This is where the prequel “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” comes in.  A researcher played by James Franco inadvertently “creates” the apes that will take over where humanity left off.

The other major difference this time around is the visuals. The last Apes movie, directed by Tim Burton was almost universally panned except for the look of the apes. Unlike the obvious rubber masks worn by Roddy McDowall and his cohorts in the late-1960s and early-1970s, Burton’s apes looked more like the real deal.

This time around there will be no makeup jobs on the actors. Instead the visual effects gurus at Peter Jackson’s WETA studio have rendered the apes digitally after doing motion capture the way they did Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies.  In fact, Andy Serkis who provided the motions and voice of Gollum is back as Caeser, the prime ape that leads the uprising. From the trailer, it looks really good, although so did Burton’s take on the apes. We’ll just have to wait until August for the real deal.