First Look at the Digital Apes in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Live-Chat with WETA on Wednesday

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With the first trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes set to be released on Thursday, Fox has released a first look at one of the film’s digital apes created by WETA.  There’s not much motion in this brief four-second clip, but I do like the level of detail and it’s a nice reminder that we’ve come a long way since Tim Burton’s atrocious 2001 remake.  I’m also encouraged that Fox recently rescheduled the flick out of a crowded Thanksgiving weekend and into the summer movie season.

Hit the jump to check out the clip, the official logo, and to learn more about a live-chat with WETA.  The film stars James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and Andy Serkis.  Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) will direct from a script by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes is due out on August 5th.

Clip via the film’s official Facebook page.

Here’s the official synopsis for Rise of the Planet of the Apes:

Set in present-day San Francisco, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES reveals the origins of a war that ultimately led to a global apocalypse – and to Earth becoming the Planet of the Apes. The Oscar-winning visual effects team that brought to life the worlds of Avatar and Lord of the Rings is taking on its most ambitious challenge, creating for the first time a non-human CGI character that delivers a dramatic performance with real emotion and intelligence.

Fox has also released the official logo for the film.  It’s a nice throwback to the logos of the original series:


Finally, there will be a live chat with WETA’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon on Facebook on Wednesday, April 13th at 2:30 PDT.  Here’s the press release:






LOS ANGELES, April 11, 2011 –WETA Digital, the industry-leading and Academy Award® winning visual effects house behind the wizardry of films such as Avatar, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and District 9, will host a livestream event on Facebook, for RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. On April 13, at 2:30PM PDT, from WETA’s headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand, WETA’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon will give viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at their work on the film, a reality-based cautionary tale that blends science fiction and science-fact – and is the last big event movie of the summer.

The event will live on Facebook’s official fan page for Avatar (, which has 14.2 million followers.  Last year, WETA won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking visual effects work in rendering an entire fantasy world in James Cameron’s history-making epic.   WETA’s work on RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES presented very different challenges and opportunities. In addition to creating a CG character that gives a performance of unprecedented emotion and intelligence, WETA is applying some of the technology it developed for Avatar to bring to life a real world – the film is set in modern-day San Francisco – and epic battles on which rest the upended destinies of man and primate.

Letteri, a five-time Oscar® winner, and Lemmon will provide a look into WETA’s process, and explain how working on a Planet of the Apes film has long been the “holy grail” of visual effects wizardry – and a driving force behind their own careers.  In addition, visitors to the livestream event will hear from other RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES filmmakers, including director Rupert Wyatt, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the work of actor Andy Serkis, whose nuanced performance is playing a key role in WETA’s rendering of Caesar, the film’s principal ape character.

A five-second preview of WETA’s work on RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is available on the film’s official Facebook page:


In the film’s story, a single act of both compassion and arrogance leads to a war unlike any other — and to the RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.  It stars James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo and Andy Serkis as Caesar. Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark are producing for Chernin Entertainment under its pact with Fox.  Rupert Wyatt is directing from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, who are also producing.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens in theaters everywhere August 5, 2011.

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  • Aubrey Titmuss

    Andy Serkis is partly Armenian. A lot of people don’t know that.
    Some other famous Armenians include Andre Agassi, Charles Aznavour, Eric Bogosian, Cher, Princess Diana (1/64 Armenian), Atom Egoyan, Arshile Gorky, The Kardashians, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Kirk Kerkorian, Mike Connors, William Saroyan, Seymour Skinner (Armen Tamzarian), System of a Down, Steven Zaillian, Michael Vartan, Gregory Peck, Dita Von Teese, Ken Davitian, David Hedison, David Dickinson, Simon Abkarian.

    • J.J.

      Thanks for the neat trivia, Aubrey!

  • sloan

    rise of the planet of the apes of the planet of earth. Jesus, why don’t they put the year and the day in the title too. super redudant

    • ringbearer1420

      Because it’s not a Planet of the Apes movie if the titles isn’t redundant?

  • Al

    Whatever. I always thought the make up was the best part of the Tim Burton movie anyway.

    • KratosRevenge

      Damn straight. Burton’s movie was ok but Tim Roth looked awesome and overall cool makeup.

  • junierizzle

    I don’t see why they didn’t just apply practical make-up on Serkis.

  • ringbearer1420

    Tim Burton’s was atrocious? I’m sorry you’ve seen the original films right? The Godzilla remake was a atrocity, Tim Burton’s was a interesting reinterpretation that at least a little thought and care went into.
    They didn’t do something stupid like make a giant dinosaur a iguana, but instead fully indulged in what a Planet of Ape people would look like, and proved that Helena Bonham Carter would be sexy as simian. I thought Alice in Wonderland was crap, but it’s Tim Burton, when he makes crap you can still salvage something of worth from it, and you can’t say that in most cases.

    • j.

      Burton’s remake was an absolute abomination. No amount of FX and budget could make up for Marky Mark’s participation nor the horribly vague ending…

  • Alex H

    I’m sorry but this title is worse than The Dark Knight Rises.

    Rise of the Apes was perfectly acceptable, just as something like Rise of the Knight would have been.

    It’s like they just don’t care anymore…

    • Agent_Black

      Alex_H, forget about the titles, it sounds to me that these film will do exactly what it says on the tin. Don’t get too bent out of shape until you’ve seen them.

  • iamtryingtobelieve

    This looks fantastic, but the real test is going to be how the mouths move when they talk. Here’s hoping Weta can pull it off.

    • Agent_Black

      Too right iamtryingtobelieve, the young Jeff Bridges wonky pie-hole on the Tron Legacy trailers totally killed all interest I had in seeing the sequel of a film I held in fond regard.

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