Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy doesn’t seem to get enough credit. They took a classic existing franchise (all the way from 1968) and, thanks to current technology, were able to give us a fresh film series that’s never felt cheap or suffered from “prequelitis.” The first film Rise of the Planet of the Apes introduced us to Caesar (Andy “Just Give Him His Damn Oscar Already” Serkis). The second film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes showed the start of a war between humanity, and the now highly evolved apes. It was one of the most clever (anti)war movies of recent memory, and this weekend, the third film in the trilogy, War for The Planet of the Apes is hitting theaters, and is already getting a lot of positive buzz (94 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes). Some are even saying that the third movie is making this trilogy one of the best ever made.

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Set your phasers to stun/heat/kill (depending on how you see fit) folks, as Paramount Pictures has finally found a new director to helm the third instalment of the mega-budgeted Star Trek reboot. With many directors in the running – including Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Jonathan Frakes – the list finally became a two-man race, fortunately this didn’t involve any souped up muscle cars, or fuel injected nitro kits. The search for a replacement director went into over-drive – when J.J. Abrams left for another galaxy far far away – with names as far-out as Edgar Wright popping up online. Now Paramount seem to have found the man for the job. (more…)

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Motion capture performance works by using reflective markers attached to the skin that help identify and replicate body movement and facial expressions so that animators can later create a complete digital character. Where filmmakers once relied on prosthetics and heavy layers of makeup, now it’s all about utilizing computers to create lifelike realism. With each innovative film (The Lord of the RingsKing KongRise of the Planet of the Apes), the technology is perfected just a tiny bit more, to the point that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the flesh and blood actors and the animated characters they interact with. And at the center of nearly every great motion capture performance thus far is one man: Andy Serkis.

Now Serkis is bringing his one-of-a-kind skills back to the Apes franchise for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Today, a new featurette gives us a glimpse of the master and his fellow mo-cap performers at work, and it’s fascinating to see a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the artists’ process.

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By the power of Greyskull…

My most anticipated movie of the summer is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, namely because it’s my favorite franchise of all time and I thought Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the most stellar reboots in the history of popcorn cinema. Today we get two new trailers (one domestic, one international) that both rely on the same footage yet present it in totally different ways. While acting as an interesting study in marketing editing, it also helps that the movie looks legitimately kick-ass.

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Yesterday the internet was a buzz with the seemingly written in stone fact that Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) was Paramount’s front-runner for the director’s chair for Star Trek 3. It was an interesting pick, but since Chu delivered with the G.I. Joe sequel, overcoming the lackluster reaction to the 2009 original, it might make sense for the studio to bring an energetic new voice into the series following the disappointing fan reaction to Star Trek Into Darkness.

But not so fast. Chu would make financial sense, but if you look at his filmography – dance movies (Step-Up), toy movies (G.I. JoeMasters of the Universe) and Justin Bieber – it seems unlikely that he would bring back the high-minded sci-fi tone that Trek fans might be looking for. So how about the guy that made Rise of the Planet of the Apes?

Cinematallica is reporting that Rupert Wyatt, in reality, is Paramount’s front-runner for Trek 3. Why? Considering that he brought Rise, a movie with little buzz, to the screen on a small (by blockbuster standards) budget, and got people excited about a tired franchise in the waning days of summer and was praised not just for the technical, but the themes and story as well. Wyatt might end up being the ideal candidate to right the starship Enterprise and take it to strange new worlds as opposed to revisiting past successes.

As for Chu, his reps told Huffington Post that he has not been approached by anyone from Paramount. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s no word if J.J. Abrams is officially out of the running to direct Trek 3, but there is a presumption that Abrams won’t have time for both Star Wars Episode VII and Star Trek 3.

Expect the new Star Trek movie sometime in 2016, in time for the 50th anniversary of the franchise.

Source: Comic Book Movie

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[Editor’s Note: After an exhilarating afternoon of some wild surprises from the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures Panel and the awesome Catching Fire trailer that debuted within Hall H, Manny Lozano is back from a short rest, refuel, and recharge – himself and his smartphone – to bring you live commentary for FOX’s mysterious panel. We’re expecting them to bring The Wolverine as well as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but there’s been several rumors about “something major” being revealed. Footage from Days of Future Past? The much anticipated announcement of the X-Force movie? Another X-Men movie franchise? Whatever it is, in a matter of moments Manny will have the lowdown. Once the panel begins, hit refresh for updates.]

[UPDATE: This has panel has now concluded. Hit the jump for the full, original panel commentary. Up next, MARVEL STUDIOS!]

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Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes now has an official logo design and you can check it out below. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the story of Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and features a stellar cast that includes Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo and Judy Greer.

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In the film, a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

Will the other apes begin to talk? Will ape kill ape? What are you looking forward to? What other nods will the movie make to the original franchise?

Via: Comingsoon

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There’s new casting news out for director Matt ReevesDawn of the Planet of the Apes production. Gary Oldman (Dark Knight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has jumped on-board the movie to play the leader of the remaining human colony. Wait, what does it that mean, “remaining humans”? It seems there is a plague wiping out mankind. Here’s the current synopsis of the movie:

A group of scientists in San Francisco struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.

Oldman’s character will be the foil pitted against the intelligant ape Caesar (Andy Serkis). Goldman plays a good bad guy (The Book of Eli), although it’s not certain that his character will be a bad guy or just someone thrust into a difficult situation, there’s plenty of grey morality areas to pass around in the Planet of the Apes franchise.

The story takes place 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes where Caesar first exposed his fellow captive simians and then staged a breakout to the forests surrounding San Fransisco. A plague has broken out, most likely related to or caused by the breakout and or destruction of the labs.

Oldman is a fantastic actor and a great addition to the cast. I get the feeling that the “Dawn” title will be the best in the new Planet of the Apes series much like Dawn of the Dead is the best in the Ramero zombie franchise. What do you think?

Via: GeekTyrant

Clarke To Replace Franco As ‘Apes’ Sequel Lead

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has announced that leading man James Franco will not be returning–according to The Hollywood Reporter. Instead, Jason Clarke, of Public Enemies and Zero Dark Thirty fame will have the honor of playing the lead human role (whether or not he’ll be playing Franco’s character has yet to be revealed).

THR also leaked a few plot details: Apparently Dawn will be set 15 years after the events of Rise, and will concern a group of scientists fighting for their lives in San Francisco, while ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) tries to maintain his authority over the rebel apes (among other things, presumably).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes begins shooting this spring, and has a planned release date of sometime in 2014 (sorry I couldn’t be more exact).

Source: Blastr