Monday, April 11, 2011


As with most modern remakes of childhood favorites, I can't say that I hold out much hope for 20th Century Fox's latest attempt to resurrect the Planet of the Apes film franchise (especially after their last dismal effort) - but the new logo that hit the web this week is interesting to me. Previously, I had only seen the forthcoming flick referred to in the press as Rise of the Apes - which seemed like an attempt to distance it somewhat from the Planet of the Apes brand (and, possibly, bad memories of the Tim Burton remake). This new logo is the first time I've seen it referred to as Rise of the Planet of the Apes - and in the classic typeface, no less!

The movie, which is due out in the U.S. in August, appears to be a re-telling of 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. It's directed by Rupert Wyatt and stars James Franco and Brian Cox, with Andy Serkis providing the mo-cap performance for a CGI Caesar created by Peter Jackson's WETA.

For the record, I truly hate the Tim Burton 2001 Planet - Mark Wahlberg was appallingly bad in the lead and the script was complete and utter shit. However - I did like the production design, thought Rick Baker's apes were (with only a couple of exceptions) fantastic and loved Danny Elfman's score.

Basically, my only hope for Rise is that it doesn't suck as bad as Burton's film.


  1. *shudder* The Burton film was a series of horrors upon horrors. Now some suits have $150 million to ruin my favorite entry of the "Apes" cycle? This will not stand, sir.

  2. Interesting logo, I had not seen it. That's official? Surprising they are remaking Conquest, as you said, yet they are making it look almost like a continuation of the other series.

  3. Why try to re-capture something that was so cool for it's time. The APE movies were no great shakes, especially as they went along but the first film is a classic. Entertainment Weekly had a good peice of advice - instead of remaking good movies, remake BAD ones.

  4. Well, we disagree on the quality of the later films, Kal. As for re-making "bad" movies, there's no commercial logic in it.

    The thinking behind greenlighting remakes (and movies based on comics, video games and action figures, etc.) is that if they bomb at the box office, no one at the studio has to take the blame. They can just say, "Well, it worked once, so it should have worked again."

    Creatively, if you're not going to be original, it makes a lot more sense to take films that had good ideas but were not particularly well-executed, and remake those. Which, some may argue (not me) is what they're doing here. Remaking a genuinely bad film makes no sense at all, because there's clearly no audience for it at all.

    Personally, I don't automatically dismiss remakes, especially if the people involved are talented filmmakers in their own right, and demonstrate respect for the integrity of the original material. In fact, I like a number of remakes, and, as I like to remind film snobs, the good version of The Maltese Falcon was the third one.

    All that said, most modern remakes suck, and I don't have especially high hopes for this one....

  5. The Apes films were so much a product of their time. I seriously don't think you can remake them today and not lose a large part of what made them so cool the first time around.

    Remember they were made when there was the threat of global nuclear war, space travel hadn't yet ended up being all too hard and the BIG ideas in 70s films didn't have to suspend disbelief the way audiences demand these days.

    I HATED the Burton film as well...It was just wrong on so many levels. Actually Chris, I hated Rick Baker's makeup (especially his Zira), not because it wasn't done very well, but because it really missed the point of the original Ape movies. They were 'evolved', civilized simians who kind of became a sort of species all on their own. That's what makes that original franchise charming and, well, original.
    I actually would prefer they go back and maybe 'special edition' the originals. Shock, horror!! Seriously, with modern FX you could do so much to 'open up' those films with set extensions, crowd scenes etc.

    That was always intended in the story lines of these movies, but the minuscule budgets and technical difficulties made it impossible to achieve at the time.

    Still, morbid curiosity will probably get me out to see this new one the same way as the last remake did.

  6. Have you seen this yet?

    I don't know if it is a clip, or just a WETA proof-of-concept.

  7. Andy Serkis' involvement gives me some hope that the apes will be properly animated. James Franco makes me skeptical, but I have seen him act well (just not recently with all of the stoner movies). I just hope that this one is as dark as "Conquest" tried to be (before the re-worked ending). It's one of my favorite series, despite the dwindling budgets that they suffered with each movie.

    And while Burton's flick had good effects and costuming, it was mostly abysmal.

  8. May I remind you that the Burton film ALSO used the classic typeface for its logo, so that's no indication of a good movie.

  9. Luis - I didn't mean to suggest that the logo was any indication of the film's quality. In fact, I think I was properly cynical about such throughout my post. My interest only was in that it was the first time I'd seen Fox's publicity actually acknowledge the film as officially being a part of the franchise.