THE COLLISION: Episode 97 – The PLANET OF THE APES Franchise

by     Posted 101 days ago


This week on The Collision, we look back at all of the Planet of the Apes movies.  We talk about the flexibility of the series, its core themes, the best and weakest films in the franchise, and much more.  All of this leads up to our discussion of the latest entry in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations. [Note: at one point I say there will be spoilers, but then we quickly decided that this should be a spoiler-free podcast.  There are no spoilers for any of the Apes films aside from the classic ending of the 1968 original and the infamous ending of the 2001 remake]

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Looking Back and Looking Ahead for 2014″), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

WETA Digital’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon Talk DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Technical Challenges, Deleted Scenes, and Future Projects

by     Posted 105 days ago


The visual effects company Weta Digital became a household name following their groundbreaking work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and they’ve worked on a number of other impressive films in the interim, ranging from District 9 to Avatar to Man of Steel.  With Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, the company built upon the technology used to bring Gollum to life in Lord of the Rings to create phenomenal motion-capture apes.  That technology has advanced even further for the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with astounding results.  What Weta has accomplished in conjunction with the actors that played the Apes is a huge step forward for how technology can shape a movie.  I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

At the recent San Francisco press day I landed an exclusive video interview with senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about their work on the film.  They talked about advancements in technology and the challenges of bringing realism to the screen, deleted scenes, the technical challenges in the script, what it was like working with Matt Reeves, what it meant shooting a majority of the movie on location, future projects like Batman v Superman and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

“Why Cookie Rocket?” Looking Back at RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 107 days ago


[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]

The Planet of the Apes movies have always been interested with time.  The original movie opens with Taylor (Charlton Heston) explaining that his spaceship’s mission isn’t to explore the galaxy, but to use Einstein’s Law of Relativity to leave Earth and return in the distant future where it might not be such a shithole (Taylor was disappointed).  From there, Beneath carried the torch to extinction, Escape traveled back in time, Conquest took a twenty-year jump to begin the downfall of humans, and Battle has a prologue and epilogue that take place in 2670 AD.  So it’s fitting that the series’ reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, would restart the clock to unload the baggage of the previous movies rather than throwing us back into the middle of the madhouse.  While it didn’t carry the heavy commentary of the original saga, Rise took a new path by putting a strong focus on family and bringing a level of spectacle far beyond what any Apes film had done before.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Prequel Short Films Explain the Simian Flu, Its Effects, and the Downfall of Human Civilization

by     Posted 115 days ago


Although only three years separate the release dates of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in the story’s world, ten years have elapsed.  Quite a lot happens in that time, it seems.  While the apes are busy developing their own social skills and technological abilities, the humans have fallen victim to a deadly Simian Flu.  In order to show audiences just how devastating this disease was to our civilization, a series of short films have been released that bridge the gap between films and set the stage quite nicely for the anticipated feature film.

Starring Andy SerkisJason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanToby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 2D and 3D on July 11th.  Hit the jump to watch the in-betweenquel short films.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Featurette Explores the Evolution of Weta’s VFX Technology

by     Posted 123 days ago


As remarkable as the motion-capture performances were in Rise of the Planet of the ApesMatt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes attempts to push the artform even further.  Helping out in that regard is Weta’s visual effects department, which takes an evolutionary leap forward in their technology from the last film to the current version.  Luckily, a new behind-the-scenes featurette focuses on this new VFX technology and shows off just how it was employed on set.

Hit the jump to check out the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes featurette.  The film opens in 3D on July 11th, and stars Andy SerkisJason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPhee, Toby KebbelKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

Matt Reeves Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, More Sequels, Whether James Franco Appears in the Movie, Directing with Pneumonia, and More

by     Posted 180 days ago


Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted an enormous amount of coverage on director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  We had our set visit (with 45 things to know about the movie), on set interviews with Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and cinematographer Michael Seresin, new toy images, new movie images and posters, a TV spot, and more.  Based on everything I’ve seen and learned, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is going to be a great sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it’s going to show how motion capture technology has advanced over the past few years.  I really believe Reeves is going to hit a home-run with this film.

At WonderCon, I landed a great video interview with Reeves.  He talked about the film’s concept of shying away from traditional villains, directing while he had pneumonia, whether or not James Franco is in the movie, future sequels, if the next sequel could have a shorter title, what he learned from  friends-and-family screenings and the challenge of having people watch the film when it’s not close to done, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for the video and full transcript.

15 New DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Toy Images Show off Caesar, Maurice, and Koba

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes toy images

We’ve got 15 new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes toy images to share with you today.  These articulated Neca Series 1 action figures show off great looks at Caesar, Maurice, and Koba in action.  Fans of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie should recognize those monkey monikers, since the characters played pivotal roles in defeating the initial human force.  Now it appears as if they’re once again ready for battle in the Matt Reeves sequel, due out July 11th.

Andy Serkis, Karin Konoval, and Toby Kebbell play Caesar, Maurice, and Koba respectively, with Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique Murciano also starring.  Be sure to check out Steve’s set visit report and interviews with Serkis, and Clarke.  Then, hit the jump to check out the new toy images.


by     Posted 312 days ago


We’re only two days out from the first trailer for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but someone in this new teaser trailer simply can’t wait that long.  You don’t have to worry about this teaser spoiling anything, because it doesn’t do much at all except to remind you that the trailer will debut on Wednesday, and that Caesar (Andy Serkis) is still the man ape in charge.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also stars Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Judy Greer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Toby Kebbell and opens July 11, 2014.

Comic-Con: Highlights from the DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Interview with Director Matt Reeves and Stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell

by     Posted 1 year, 94 days ago


If our panel recap of Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes didn’t satisfy your curiosity, we’ve got a few highlights from the sequel’s press conference for you.  Director Matt Reeves and stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell talked about the sequel’s level of action, balancing believability with fantasy, how this film fits into the franchise and why having a strong foundation of character makes even the most fantastical story feel grounded and realistic.

Also starring Gary Oldman, Judy Greer, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Toby Kebbell, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due to debut on July 18, 2014.  Hit the jump to see what the filmmakers had to say during their visit to Comic-Con. 

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Director Matt Reeves Reveals Plot Points, the Tone and Scale of the Sequel, and What Fans Will See at Comic-Con

by     Posted 1 year, 100 days ago


Although the 20th Century Fox panel at this year’s Comic-Con doesn’t take place until Saturday afternoon, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) is already spilling the beans on the much-anticipated sequel.  Not only did Reeves reveal what fans who attend the Hall H panel will see this weekend (here’s a hint: not a lot as far as footage and finished effects go), the director also talked about the sequel’s plot points, tone and scale, along with changes he made from an earlier draft.  If you’re hungry to know all of that information before it’s revealed to the world this Saturday, hit the jump.  Otherwise, avoid due to spoilers.

Starring Andy Serkis, Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoToby KebbellEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens on July 18, 2014.  Hit the jump to see what Reeves had to say.


by     Posted 1 year, 238 days ago


Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has added another lead in Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises).  The Mark Bomback script takes place 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and finds humanity all but wiped out by the race of super-intelligent apes.  Part of the story centers on a group of scientists in San Francisco who are mounting a resistance against their new oppressors while Caesar (Andy Serkis) struggles to maintain dominance over his kingdom.  It’s looking like Oldman will play Dreyfus, the leader of a human colony in the sequel, due out May 23, 2014.  Hit the jump for more.


by     Posted 1 year, 244 days ago


Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) has been cast as a lead in Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  When the sequel added Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) just a few days ago, we learned that the plot would be set 15 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and involve  “the group of human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco.”  We still don’t know exactly how Clarke and Smit-McPhee fit into the story, but they’re both solid additions.  Also featuring the return of Andy Serkis in his phenomenal role of Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due out May 23, 2014.  Hit the jump for more.

James Franco Probably Won’t Return for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 1 year, 310 days ago


We previously reported that James Franco might reprise his role as Will in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  However, that was when Rise director Rupert Wyatt was still attached to the project.  Now that Wyatt has left and Matt Reeves (Let Me In) has come on board, it looks like Franco won’t be needed.

Hit the jump for more.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due out May 23, 2014.

First Teaser Image for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES [Update: Not Official]

by     Posted 1 year, 342 days ago


The marketing campaign for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel looks to be getting off to an incredibly early start.  The first teaser image/poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes popped up online earlier today over at the Facebook page for director Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 reboot.  Wyatt was originally set to helm Dawn but subsequently dropped out of the project due to concerns over meeting the film’s 2014 release date, but luckily the very talented Matt Reeves (Let Me In) quickly stepped in and is now set to helm the follow-up.  Hit the jump to take a look at the image.

[Update: It appears that someone was having a little fun with the official Facebook page, as the image released was not a promo image from the film but is in fact an existing piece of photography art.  The image has been removed from the Facebook page.]

Is Director Rupert Wyatt Leaving DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES?

by     Posted 2 years, 36 days ago


Although the release date is more than 18 months away, it looks like director Rupert Wyatt may be stepping away from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Wyatt directed the 2011 reboot/prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and was expected to return for multiple sequels along with star Andy Serkis.  Now, reports are coming out that Wyatt is exiting the production with the explanation that he doesn’t feel comfortable making the expected release date of May 23, 2014.  Hit the jump for much more, including what this move means for the future of the sequel and for Wyatt’s career.

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