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Last-Minute Reshoots Saved James Franco's Character From Death In 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 3, 2011 1:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments
We're not sure that there was a bigger surprise this year than "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes." A tired franchise, from a creative-interference-happy studio, with a green director and a plot straight from "Deep Blue Sea?" Even without the initially unpromising trailers, it looked like a late-summer flop. But happily, it was nothing of the kind: the film became easily the warmest-received blockbusters of the summer, launched director Rupert Wyatt onto the A-list, and has taken an impressive $400 million haul; not bad for a film that allegedly cost less than many of its tentpole competitors. A franchise was (re)born.

Review: Sorry, 'Burke & Hare' Is Simply Not The John Landis Comeback We Were Hoping For

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 11, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It seems like nowadays, especially in our gimme-gimme-gimme, now-now-now society of instant, hyperlinked gratification, that when a movie’s release is delayed or postponed, that it takes on a mystical dimension of importance and fascination. This leads to endless speculation about why the film hasn’t made its way to (domestic) theaters yet; what’s the reason behind the hold-up? In the in-between time, a new reputation for the film has already been forged, one based on tenuous material and (possibly) overseas reviews. In the case of John Landis’ “Burke & Hare,” which was released almost a year ago in England, the word was that the film was something of a return to form.

Review: 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Monkeys Around, Showcases Action Over Nuance

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • August 4, 2011 2:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments
When blockbuster films deal with conflict that poses a global threat, the question hangs over them: why is humanity worth saving? It’s the drug-film conundrum: 95 minutes of injections and hard-living make a stronger impression than the therapy and lessons of the remaining 10. Why bother presenting a human population worthy of life, love and discovery when the audience and filmmakers can take more pleasure in annihilating them?

Monkey Vs. Horse: Spoilerific Comic-Con Clip For 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Picks Up The Pace

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 22, 2011 1:42 AM
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  • 9 Comments
We're still on something of a knife-edge about "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," two weeks away from the film's release: talented director Rupert Wyatt and performance capture star Andy Serkis have talked a good talk so far, and elements of it have been intriguing, but the trailers for the most part have been a mixed bag. Unsurprisingly, Fox were out in force with the film on Day 1 of Comic-Con yesterday, with both Wyatt and Serkis on hand to talk up the film, and debuting a new clip, focusing on the third-act ape revolution that looks to hold most of the big action. That clip has now made its way online.

Watch: New 'The Hobbit' Video Production Blog Shows First Look At Andy Serkis As Gollum

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 11, 2011 4:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Overcoming numerous hurdles, "The Hobbit" is well underway and -- knock on wood -- the production has being moving along smoothly despite the many early bumps in the road to get it rolling. The production has been a pretty open book as far as most tentpole films go, with Peter Jackson actively engaging fans on Facebook, first look photos coming along very early and perhaps the best of the lot, some very well made and incredibly entertaining video production blogs allowing us a peek behind the scenes.

Andy Serkis And 'Apes' Director Rupert Wyatt Want To Make Performance-Capture Take On 'Animal Farm'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2011 2:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
We're about a month from release, and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is still perhaps the biggest question mark of the summer. It's got a high-caliber cast, led by freshly-minted Oscar nominee James Franco and performance capture pioneer Andy Serkis as lead ape Caesar, a promising director, in Rupert Wyatt, who debuted with the little-seen-but-superb "The Escapist," and a script more effective than most tentpole flicks. But at the same time, we haven't really been feeling the trailers to date (the last was the best of them), the "Deep Blue Sea"-esque premise could risk looking silly, and the shunting of release dates (summer, then November, then summer again) has sent mixed messages.

Watch: Jamie Bell IS Tilda Swinton In First Trailer For 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 17, 2011 12:28 PM
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  • 20 Comments
One of the biggest question marks of the year has been Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin." The director's coming off the worst film of his career, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and tackling a comic book that few in the U.S. have heard of, in the performance capture manner that's seen the undoing of Robert Zemeckis in recent years, seemed like a fairly risky move, all things considered. And it doesn't help that the film's been mostly shrouded in mystery.

Nifty Teaser Posters Debut For Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson's 'The Adventures Of Tintin'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 16, 2011 5:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments
First Trailer To Arrive Tomorrow MorningFor one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, at least everywhere except the U.S, word's been strangely quiet on "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." Uniting blockbuster giants Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson for the first time (the former's directing, the latter producing), on an adaptation of the massively successful graphic novel series about a Belgian boy detective, his dog Snowy, his best friend, a drunken sea captain, and the adventures they go on, we had a glimpse of a handful of images before Christmas, but little since then. We guess because the film's being realized in performance-capture computer animation, and so Sony and Paramount have presumably had to wait until the polish has been put on properly.

Indecisive Ape Spotlighted In Riveting New Photo From 'Rise Of The Planet of The Apes'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 12, 2011 1:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments
And that indecisive ape would be Caesar, as performance-captured by Andy Serkis, in this brand new shot from "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes." Caesar appears to be having a hard time deciding whether he wants his beverage to taste great, or to be less filling. He could just ask a human but - oh, crap, no he totally can't because that would just be another attempt for the human to undermine him and his kind. Less filling, you flesh-hogging two-legged miscreants!

Watch: Trailer For 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Has Distinct Whiff Of 'The Happening'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 14, 2011 1:03 AM
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  • 18 Comments
The value of a home-grown franchise for a big studio can't be undervalued, and since they adapted Pierre Boule's novel "La planète des singes" into 1968's "Planet of the Apes," it's become one of 20th Century Fox's key properties, spawning five additional movies, and two separate TV series. But the monkey-heaviest sci-fi series around isn't what it once was, and 2001's Tim Burton 're-imagining' failed to successfully re-launch the franchise, due to being really, really terrible. But you can't keep a good merchandising opportunity down, and the studio have gone back to the well, with the talents of Andy Serkis, James Franco and effects geniuses WETA Digital leading the charge.

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