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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Exclusive
First look at the creation of Caesar

14 April 2011  |  Written by Dan Jolin  |  Source: Exclusive

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Hail Caesar! The leader of the new ape revolution in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes has finally made his debut, courtesy of this world-exclusive process shot which reveals how Weta Digital (the same people who made Gollum, Kong and Avatar's Na'vi) transformed Andy 'Lord Of Performance Capture' Serkis into the genetically-enhanced chimp who, in Rupert Wyatt's prequel to/reboot of the Planet Of The Apes franchise, kicks off the world-changing events that will one day lead to the devastation of humanity. 

Empire's been there all the way, from watching Serkis at (physically exhausting) work on the Vancouver set - in grey jumpsuit, on arm-extending crutches, with green dots all over his face - to witnessing his performance in full Weta-created, photo-realistic ape mode at Weta Digital's base in Wellington, New Zealand, eight months later. It's truly impressive stuff - another leap forward for Weta from the achievements of Lord Of The Rings and Avatar, not least because it's the first movie to pull off performance-capture in an entirely live-action 'real world' setting.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

"The main thing we're trying to do is create these completely believable ape characters and treat them completely in a live-action sense," explains senior visual effects supervisor Joe Leterri when Empire meets him at Weta. "This actually grew most directly out of what we were doing on Avatar, but here we brought the motion capture completely onto the live-action stage. We had to hide all of the motion-capture cameras all over the live-action sets. And so we could have Andy Serkis, and any of the other actors playing the apes in the set with the [non-ape] actors actually performing."

As you can tell from the shot, the original Apes movies - and their prosthetic make-up - weren't really a reference for Weta, or indeed Serkis, who were more keen to base their performances on real apes. Serkis, of course, has previous form here, having played King Kong. But Caesar, he tells us, is a very different character. "Kong was purely a gorilla, so I went all-out to to make that work and play the psychology and DNA of a pure gorilla," he says. "But this is much more mercurial and 'shifting sands' in terms of who this creature is, because he's brought up with human beings, and then he's inherited this drug which has enhanced his intelligence, so you have to almost forget he's a chimp, really. We've been experimenting with treating him much more as a human being, really. It feels more like a human drama story."

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is due out later this year in the UK. The official site is now live, and is called "Apes Will Rise". Yes, and Titans will clash, but enough with the fortune telling already.

Plus, here's the teaser trailer for you. What do you reckon? Excited? Let us know in the comment box below.

 

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Your Comments

RE: A potential for greatness.
First the good parts...any clip showing Caesar, the intelligence and cunning behind his eyes looks nothing short of spine-tingling. Unfortunately that is where it ends in my opinion. The rest of the trailers looks as others have pointed out a "hairier I Robot", less character study and more 1 set-piece after another. My final reservation is with so many 20-somethings cast in the lead roles...James Franco as a scientist? Please, my suspension of disbelief has just been suspended! More

Posted by higgins78 at 21:13 on 23 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: thatlittlemonkey The trailer looks quite interesting, although the Apes Will Rise tag made me do an unintentional snort laugh in the middle of the office. L: Cabal aka Boone Do I assume that from the deletion of my (and a couple of other peoples) posts that having an opinion is frowned upon on the Empire Forums nowadays? Have I been away that long? Guess that's why I chose to stay away... far too sycophantic... Good work fellas, keep up the good work! woul More

Posted by Cabal aka Boone at 17:33 on 18 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
The trailer looks quite interesting, although the Apes Will Rise tag made me do an unintentional snort laugh in the middle of the office. L: Cabal aka Boone Do I assume that from the deletion of my (and a couple of other peoples) posts that having an opinion is frowned upon on the Empire Forums nowadays? Have I been away that long? Guess that's why I chose to stay away... far too sycophantic... Good work fellas, keep up the good work! wouldn't take it too personally, More

Posted by thatlittlemonkey at 16:32 on 18 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
http://www.chud.com/22943/exclusive-huge-planet-of-the- apes-prequel-story-details/ The above (if accurate, and definitely spoilerific if so) answers some of my questions and thoughts, including something I wondered about the possible inclusion of in the FF thread. More

Posted by jobloffski at 22:10 on 17 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
As far as I know (and I could be wrong) just one ape has the experimental drug to begin with. Let's face, we can train apes to take orders off us with words, they'd probably respond much quicker if it was an ape giving the orders. Maybe he gives them all the drug, not sure, but it looks interesting. I just love the whole concept. We treat apes like shit in these labs but as soon s as they have our level of intelligence it's wrong. Is intelligent life the only life worth giving a damn about? Rai More

Posted by CORLEONE at 21:58 on 17 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Hope the following exchange is dialogue from different scenes cut together for the trailer: "...the drug has radically boosted brain functioning/you mean increased intelligence?" Cos as dialogue, that's as bad as the Deep Blue Sea clarification of the side effect of increased brain mass ('They got smarter). Bit picky I suppose, as is my "eh? the drug is being tested on so many apes at the same time, on mainland USA territory, there's enough of them to threaten the society itself More

Posted by jobloffski at 21:37 on 17 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
Hmmm... I not sure a prequel is needed, but I suppose it could be good. The early scenes look well done and quite interesting and I can see it being a thematic gold mine. Problem is that it all looks rather silly once the apes, well, rise. I loved the original, not because it was about a bunch of apes who ruled over mankind, but because of its wonderful subtext (the <i>hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil</i> scene being on of my all time favourite movie scenes). This More

Posted by jmebaby25 at 16:38 on 17 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE:
Do I assume that from the deletion of my (and a couple of other peoples) posts that having an opinion is frowned upon on the Empire Forums nowadays? Have I been away that long? Guess that's why I chose to stay away... far too sycophantic... Good work fellas, keep up the good work! More

Posted by Cabal aka Boone at 00:34 on 17 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Dead behind the eyes...
L: lankeymarlon ....looks like Weta are coming really close to mastering the dead-eye problem. Avatar was the closest thing we got to having CG characters looking like there was life in the eyes. But they done that by making the eyeballs massive. With this it looks much more realistic and as if that monkey is thinking something. Will just have to wait for the trailer before we can know for sure if they have cracked it. thought WETA did a great job on that already with King Kong, the More

Posted by Darth Goonie at 00:33 on 15 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Exclusive
Aint that ape tightening that bolt instead of loosening it? More

Posted by Overmind at 17:32 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Monkey business
I think the studio got nervous about losing potential franchise dollars by not having "planet of the" in there. They held out as long as they could but couldnt resist it in the end. More

Posted by Gkel at 16:00 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Monkey business
looking forward to the film but can thet get someone else apart from andy serkis to do the mocap no doubt he is a genius at it but there must be other people out there who can do it, or am i being a bit harsh More

Posted by bid red mcneil at 14:16 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE:
Agreed, it's looks excellent. I'm not really attached to the originals nor the Tim Burton 'reimagining' so they should go to town with it. More

Posted by evildave69 at 13:11 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Will the apes be talking?
Trailer is on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asMgeS2pYE8&feature=play er_embedded More

Posted by dreddhead123 at 11:06 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: OK, this is officially something to be excited for
I really have no desire to see this (Doesn't mean I won't though). To me this is another case of pointless rebooting. I don't really want to know how the Apes took over, just like I didn't need to know why Hannibal Lecter ate faces. I enjoy the mystery in these things so I say leave it alone. More

Posted by HitchHiker at 01:01 on 14 April 2011 | Report This Post


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