Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a damn fine film and the only note that rang hollow was forcing in the “Damn dirty apes!” line. While that line sadly made it into the final cut, the film’s original ending did not. I know there are plenty of folks who missed the movie while it was in theaters, and since I have to talk about the current ending to compare it to the original one, I’m going to put this story after the jump because I don’t want to spoil the movie for folks.
Hit the jump to find out how Rise of the Planet of the Apes originally ended.
In the theatrical cut, Franco’s character, Will, and Caesar have a final conversation where Will accepts Caesar as an equal. But Fox’s president of post-production Ted Gagliano told THR that Will died in the original ending. The ending was changed a month before the movie was due out in theaters. Normally, re-shooting a new ending wouldn’t be a huge deal, but the ending of Apes features loads of digital apes and it’s not like WETA could just hit Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V to put the apes into new scenes. The new ending was shot on July 4th, the scene took three hours to film, and it put a serious crunch on the post-production teams for a movie that had to open by August 5th.
Devin over at Badass Digest provides specifics on how Will was gonna go:
The original ending had Franco’s character being shot to death by armed humans who have chased the apes into the forest. The ape horde descends on the people and tears them to pieces, a reversal of the opening scene where Bright Eyes is captured in the jungle.
I suppose it may have been too much to hit audiences with Caesar losing his friend and then close out with a plague wiping out humanity. But there could be plenty of other reasons why Fox chose to change the ending. Badass adds that the original ending will be available on the Blu-ray and DVD release. I’ll be interested to see how it plays.