Here’s the first look at the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES trailer, and it’s a whole different vibe than I expected.
Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo, and Andy Serkis
Directed by Rupert Wyatt, screenplay by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa
Due out August 5th from 20th Century Fox. (Not yet rated.) Via Bleeding Cool
Actor Tom Felton, who gained notoriety for his portrayal of the role of Draco Malfoy in the HARRY POTTER films, has signed on to 20th Century Fox’s RISE OF THE APES, a prequel to the beloved PLANET OF THE APES.
Felton’s character is said to be the co-owner of an ape facility along with his evil father (Brian Cox). Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, and James Franco make up a team of scientists whose work with an ape named Caesar spells doom for all of humanity.
It should be noted that the visual effects for RISE OF THE APES are being handled by Weta Digital, the some effects house that worked on AVATAR. You can expect photorealistic apes for the first time in the franchise’s history. RISE OF THE APES is slated for release on June 24, 2011.
Sources: ScreenRant, Twitter
Hollywood Reporter informs us that John Lithgow (who recently won a Golden Globe for his work on DEXTER) has joined the cast of RISE OF THE APES, 20th Century Fox’s prequel to PLANET OF THE APES (2001). Also joining the cast is Freida Pinto (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE). James Franco is set to star. According to HR:
Rupert Wyatt will direct the feature, which focuses on a scientist (Franco) who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer’s that is being tested on apes. The test subject named Caesar evolves rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors.
Lithgow will play Franco’s Alzheimer’s-stricken father. Pinto is the movie’s female lead, a primatologist.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in British Columbia this summer. The screenplay is by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.
According to Variety the PLANT OF THE APES prequel, RISE OF THE APES, is still happening and Twentieth Century Fox have settled on a June 24th, 2011 release date. The studio have also secured a director, Rupert Wyatt (THE ESCAPIST, BIRDSONG), and plan to work with WETA Digital to create for the first time CGI, instead of make-up assisted, apes.
RISE OF THE APES is apparently an origins story, aimed at rebooting the franchise for audiences unfamiliar with the older films and is set in present-day San Francisco. The film is a, “reality-based cautionary tale, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy”. Wyatt will be directing the film from a script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa (THE RELIC, EYE FOR AN EYE), who also are producing with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark.
Not much about this new entry in the series sounds promising. Using CGI to create the apes sounds like a terrible idea as computer generated apes will never look as real or convincing as actors dressed up in make-up. Wyatt’s directorial début, THE ESCAPIST, was a great film but will the script from the people that brought us THE RELIC be up to scratch? It’s unlikely to say the least. Few of the sequels to the original PLANET OF THE APES were any good and Burton’s remake made plenty of money but was a terrible film nonetheless.
You make your own mind up when RISE OF THE APES is released on the 24th of June next year.