Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes


Take your stinkin’ paws off me you damn, dirty ape!” It’s one of the most iconic lines ever spoken within the realm of science fiction film, shouted by Charlton Heston in the 1968 classic Planet Of The Apes. That film stands as one of the landmark moments in the genre, and possesses one of the greatest twist endings that the history of cinema has ever produced. While the effects used to portray the humanised apes were groundbreaking for their time (winning the Academy Award for outstanding make-up achievement), Dr Zeus and co. look positively prehistoric when compared to the photo-realistic apes on display in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes  a blockbuster reboot of the legendary sci-fi franchise.


The storyline of the film falls outside the canonised chain of events established in the original five films, and separates itself from Tim Burton’s much-derided 2001 remake. The film looks set to reinvigorate the franchise, with the potential for a countless run of sequels.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes boasts state-of-the-art special effects from the Weta workshop  the world’s leading CGI production team. The harbinger of the ape uprising is the supersmart Caesar, played by the master of motion capture himself, Andy Serkis (The Lord Of The Rings‘ Gollum, and also performing as another simian in Peter Jackson’s King Kong).

Upon watching
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes you will no doubt recognise megastar James Franco in the role of a scientist searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s, but fans of the Harry Potter series (all billion of them) will also be able to spot a very familiar face. With duties as the antagonistic Draco Malfoy wrapping up with the release of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Tom Felton has once again stepped into the cast of a mega-franchise. Tom recounts the challenges and rewards of working with a mostly digitised cast of characters.


That was the most exciting part; seeing those guys working was incredible. It’s very much a different approach,” he recalls. “As much as I was used to all sorts of CGI tricks in years past, this was definitely something new for me. I think this is the pinnacle of movie effects, really. Seeing someone like Andy Serkis perform is literally breathtaking, and it’s quite scary to see a man being able to act that primitively. It’s a real work of art and it was certainly amazing to watch.”

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes once again sees Tom step into villain mode, a role which contrasts with Tom’s charming real-life demeanor. “It’s great. I really enjoy being able to be nasty,” he laughs. “Villains can often be so well written, and when they’re this slimy and horrible you can really sink your teeth deep into it a bit more than other characters. It’s always nice to play a character who is the polar opposite of you too, I think. It gets a bit muddled when you play someone who’s very similar to yourself, but when you play someone completely different it’s a bit easier to get into. I revel in playing someone who literally spits out his words because he’s just such a nasty piece of work.”

With the
Potter mega-franchise all wrapped up, Planet Of The Apes has meant Felton has avoided any turbulent transition from blockbuster films into smaller-scale productions. Though as he explains, that wasn’t necessarily his intention. “It’s funny, because one of the first things I said when we finished with the Harry Potter films was, Ok, I’m done with the franchise, onto the indies.’ And a week later, we were doing Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” he laughs. “But it’s a great honor to join a franchise that has such a rich past, especially one that stretches back to that Charlton Heston movie in 1968. I think my dad was the most excited. He’s an old-fashioned Planet Of The Apes fan—he saw all of the movies back in the day. He was very excited that I was going to be doing it and he said he was curious about what sort of ape I’d be. I was like, ‘No, dad, I’m a human in this one!’”

With a reputation as one of the hardest working actors in showbiz, James Franco tops the bill in terms of the films’ human stars. Working with Franco was an opportunity Felton cherished. “He doesn’t appear to be a sort of savant genius, but I think underneath the good looks he actually is. He’s an exceptionally intelligent man, and when he wasn’t reading his lines he was reading a book or going through his degree. He’s got a lot on his plate.”

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is distributed through 20th Century Fox and is released on Thursday August 4.