Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rupert Wyatt
Written by
  • Rick Jaffa
  • Amanda Silver
Based onPremise suggested by Planet of the Apes
by Pierre Boulle
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Edited by
Music by Patrick Doyle
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • August 5, 2011 (2011-08-05)
Running time
105 minutes [1] [2]
CountryUnited States [3] [4]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$93 million [5] [2]
Box office$481.8 million [2]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 American science fiction action thriller film [1] [4] [6] directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring Andy Serkis, James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and David Oyelowo. Written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, it is 20th Century Fox's reboot of the Planet of the Apes series, intended to act as an origin story for a new series of films. [7] Its premise is similar to the fourth film in the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), but it is not a direct remake of that film. In the film, a substance designed to help the brain repair itself gives advanced intelligence to a chimpanzee named Caesar, who administers the same treatment to an animal shelter full of other great apes. This leads to an uprising against humanity after Caesar and other super-intelligent apes suffer abuse at the hands of the shelter's staff. A new society for free apes of all kind (some normal apes escape from a zoo during the pandemonium) is founded in the forests northwest of San Francisco as a result.

Contents

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released on August 5, 2011, to critical and commercial success. The film was positively reviewed for its direction, special effects, and Serkis's performance and nominated for an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for five Saturn Awards including Best Director for Wyatt and Best Writing for Jaffa and Silver, winning Best Science Fiction Film, Best Supporting Actor for Serkis and Best Special Effects. Serkis's performance as Caesar was widely acclaimed, earning him many nominations from associations which do not usually recognize performance capture as traditional acting.

A sequel to the film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , was released on July 11, 2014 and a third film, War for the Planet of the Apes , was released on July 14, 2017. A fourth film is currently in development.

Plot

In present-day San Francisco, pharmaceutical chemist William Rodman is testing the viral-based drug ALZ-112 on chimpanzees at the biotech company Gen-Sys to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease. ALZ-112 is given to a chimp named Bright Eyes, greatly increasing her intelligence. However, during Will's presentation for the drug, Bright Eyes is forced from her cage, goes on a rampage and is shot to death. Will's boss Steven Jacobs terminates the project and has the chimps euthanized. However, Will's assistant Robert Franklin reveals that the reason for Bright Eyes' rampage was that she had recently given birth to an infant chimp. Will reluctantly takes in the chimp, eventually giving him the name "Caesar". Discovering that Caesar has inherited his mother's intelligence through being exposed to ALZ-122 before birth, Will decides to raise him. Three years pass, and Caesar becomes highly intelligent and can play games, draw pictures, and communicate with Will through sign language. Will introduces Caesar to the redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument so he can roam. Meanwhile, Will treats his dementia-suffering father Charles with ALZ-112, which seems to restore his cognitive ability.

Five years later, Caesar, now a young adolescent, questions if he is a pet and learns of his origins from Will. Meanwhile, Charles' condition returns as his immune system becomes resistant to ALZ-112. Caesar injures an aggressive neighbor, Douglas Hunsiker, while defending a confused Charles. As a result, the animal control arrives and takes him away to a primate shelter. Because of his increased intelligence and his different appearance to the other apes, Caesar is tormented by the alpha chimp, Rocket, and the chief guard, Dodge Landon. However, Caesar also befriends Maurice, a former circus orangutan who also knows sign language. Caesar learns how to unlock his cage, gaining free access to the common area. With the assistance of Buck, a gorilla, he confronts Rocket and claims the position of alpha chimp. Meanwhile, Jacobs clears the development of a more powerful, gaseous version of the drug – ALZ-113 – when Will tells him it can also improve intelligence. Will takes the drug home for his father, but Charles declines further treatment and dies overnight.

After attempting to test the drug on a scarred bonobo test subject called Koba, Franklin becomes exposed to ALZ-113 and becomes ill. Attempting to warn Will at his home, he sneezes blood onto Hunsiker and is later discovered dead. Will attempts to reclaim Caesar, but Caesar instead decides to stay and steals the ALZ-113 canisters from Will's house and enhances the intelligence of the other apes in the sanctuary. When Dodge attempts to get him back into his cage, Caesar speaks for the first time, shouting "No!" and fights with Dodge while freeing the apes, which inadvertently leads to Dodge's death. The apes flee the facility, releasing Koba and the remaining apes from Gen-Sys, and free more apes from the San Francisco Zoo.

A battle ensues as the ape "army" fights their way past a police blockade on the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to escape into the redwood forest. To rescue Caesar, Buck jumps into a police helicopter in which Jacobs is riding, wrecking the helicopter, at the cost of his life. Koba then pushes Jacobs into the Golden Gate strait to his death. As the apes find their way into the forest, Will catches up to them in a stolen police car and warns Caesar that the humans will hunt them down, begging him to return home. In response, Caesar hugs him and says, "Caesar is home". Will, realizing that this is their last goodbye, respects Caesar's wishes. The apes embrace their new lifestyle in the forest as news and police helicopters fly over San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Hunsiker, now infected with ALZ-113, arrives at San Francisco International Airport for his flight to Paris. He eventually spreads the virus around the globe via international flight routes, leading to a deadly pandemic.

Cast

James Franco 4, 2013.jpg
Andy Serkis by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
James Franco in 2013 (left) and Andy Serkis in 2017

Rise of the Planet of the Apes features an ape cast that includes Karin Konoval as the Bornean orangutan Maurice, Terry Notary as Rocket and Caesar's mother Bright Eyes, Richard Ridings as the western lowland gorilla Buck, Devyn Dalton as Cornelia, Jay Caputo as Caesar's father Alpha and Christopher Gordon as the scarred bonobo Koba.

The human cast includes Tyler Labine as chimp handler Robert Franklin, David Hewlett as Will's hot-headed neighbor Douglas Hunsiker, Jamie Harris as the ape sanctuary's caretaker Rodney, and Chelah Horsdal as Charles's nurse Irena.

Production

Development and writing

In 2006, screenwriter-producer Rick Jaffa was searching for a script idea. As Jaffa searched a newspaper articles clipping, one about pet chimpanzees that become troublesome to their owners and heartbroken for not adapting well to the human environment intrigued him. As Jaffa eventually realized it fit the Planet of the Apes series, he called his wife and screenwriting partner Amanda Silver to express his ideas of such a chimpanzee eventually starting the ape revolution, and then the couple started developing the character of Caesar. Jaffa indicated that "it's a reinvention" and if he had to pick between calling it a prequel or a reboot he would say it is a reboot: "It's a different story of who Caesar is, and how he came to be. So it's really kind of hard to put a label on it. We are hopefully rebooting it." He went on to say that "we tried really hard to create a story that would stand on its own and yet also pay homage and honor the movies that came before us." [10] Jaffa and Silver then wrote a script and sold it to Fox, producers of the Apes franchise. The script added other elements which the couple had researched, such as genetic engineering. [11] Several tributes to specific scenes, characters, and cast and crew from the previous Apes film series were added in the script. In particular, Caesar's treatment at the primate sanctuary parallels Taylor's treatment as a captive in the original film. [12] [13]

In a segment of a video blog post, director Rupert Wyatt commented on the originality of the plot: "This is part of the mythology and it should be seen as that. It's not a continuation of the other films; it's an original story. It does satisfy the people who enjoy those films. The point of this film is to achieve that and to bring that fan base into this film exactly like Batman Begins ." [7] In a 2009 interview, Wyatt said, "We've incorporated elements from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes , in terms of how the apes begin to revolt, but this is primarily a prequel to the 1968 film...Caesar is a revolutionary figure who will be talked about by his fellow apes for centuries...This is just the first step in the evolution of the apes, and there's a lot more stories to tell after this. I imagine the next film will be about the all-out war between the apes and humans." [14] Mark Bomback did an uncredited rewrite of the script. [15]

Filming

Filming began on July 27, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia. [16] Filming also happened in San Francisco, California (the primary setting of the film), [16] and around Oahu, Hawaii, which doubled for the African jungle as the schedule and budget did not allow for location shooting in Africa. [17]

Visual effects

As the apes in Rise were meant to be real, the producers decided not to use actors in suits. After considering real apes, instead Weta Digital created the apes digitally in almost every case through performance capture. [18] Advances in the technology allowed the use of performance capture in an exterior environment, affording the film-makers the freedom to shoot much of the film on location with other actors, as opposed to the confines of a soundstage. [19] [20] The main breakthrough was a camera that enabled viewing the motion capture dots in daylight, employed mostly for the Golden Gate Bridge battle. A maximum of six actors could have their movements captured, with larger ape crowds using fully digital animals animated using Weta's move library. The Golden Gate Bridge set used both a physical set which was extended digitally, and a fully computer-generated model of the bridge that also included the ocean and nearby hills. [21]

After shooting the actors playing humans interacting with others wearing the motion capture suits, a clean plate was shot with actors for extra reference. Actor-stuntman Terry Notary guided the actors on realistic ape movement, while Weta studied the chimps in the Wellington Zoo for reference. The digital apes also received detailed models with skeletons, muscles and nerve tissue layers for accurate animation. Cast models of apes' heads and limbs helped the texture department replicate skin details such as wrinkles and pores. Given the difference between human and chimpanzee facial muscles, the animators tweaked the performance through a new facial muscle system adding dynamics, ballistics, and secondary motion. As the silent performance required expressive eyes, a new eye model was made to depict both greater accuracy in muscle movement in and around the eyes, and also tears, pupil dilation, and light refraction. [18] [22] While Andy Serkis was the primary performer for Caesar, as the effects team considered that at times "Andy overcame the character," other motion capture team actors were also used, especially Devyn Dalton, whose height matched that of a chimpanzee. Along with that, they used Notary to play Caesar in stunt-filled scenes such as the Golden Gate Bridge scene. [23]

Music

The score for the film was written by Patrick Doyle and performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by James Shearman. [24] The main concern was to have the music help progress the plot in the scenes without dialogue, for instance, conveying the emotions of Caesar's relationships with Will and Charles. To turn the score into a "driving force that keeps audiences paying attention," Doyle employed an African-American chorus and focused on percussion and "low and deep" orchestra sounds. Doyle collaborated closely with the sound department to make the music complement the sound effects, including writing a recurring theme based on their recording of a chimpanzee. [25]

Reception

Box office

Rise of the Planet of the Apes made its debut in the United States and Canada on roughly 5,400 screens within 3,648 theaters. [26] It grossed $19,534,699 on opening day and $54,806,191 in its entire opening weekend, making it #1 for that weekend as well as the fourth-highest-grossing August opening ever. [27] The film held on to the #1 spot in its second weekend, dropping 49.2%, and grossing $27,832,307. [28] Rise of the Planet of the Apes crossed the $150 million mark in the United States and Canada on its 26th day of release. Entertainment Weekly said that this was quite an accomplishment for the film since the month of August is a difficult time for films to make money. [29]

The film ended its run at the box office on December 15, 2011, with a gross of $176,760,185 in the U.S. and Canada as well as $305,040,864 internationally, for a total of $481,801,049 worldwide. [2]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 82% approval rating based on 269 reviews, with an average rating of 7.17/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Led by Rupert Wyatt's stylish direction, some impressive special effects, and a mesmerizing performance by Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathes unlikely new life into a long-running franchise." [30] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 68 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale. [32]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and praised the role of Caesar and Andy Serkis by stating it was a "wonderfully executed character" and "one never knows exactly where the human ends and the effects begin, but Serkis and/or Caesar gives the best performance in the movie." [33] Giving the film 5 out of 5 stars, Joe Neumaier of Daily News labeled Rise of the Planet of the Apes as the summer's best popcorn flick. [34] Nick Pinkerton of The Village Voice wrote, "Caesar's prison conversion to charismatic pan-ape revolutionist is near-silent filmmaking, with simple and precise images illustrating Caesar's General-like divining of personalities and his organization of a group from chaos to order." [35] Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel wrote, "Audacious, violent and disquieting, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a summer sequel that's better than it has any right to be." He gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars. [36] Manohla Dargis of The New York Times praised the film by saying, "Precisely the kind of summer diversion that the studios have such a hard time making now. It's good, canny-dumb fun." She also gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars. [37]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone noted that the film has mixed "twists lifted from 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1999's Deep Blue Sea ". [38]

Home media

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and Digital copy on December 13, 2011. [39]

Accolades

AwardCategoryRecipientResult
84th Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett Nominated
Alliance of Women Film Journalists [40] Best Supporting Actor Andy Serkis Nominated
Annie Awards [41] Character Animation in a Live Action ProductionEric ReynoldsWon
65th British Academy Film Awards Best Special Visual Effects Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, and R. Christopher White Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association [42] Best Supporting Actor Andy SerkisNominated
Best Visual Effects Won
Best Action Film Nominated
Empire Awards [43] Best Film Nominated
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nominated
Best Director Rupert Wyatt Nominated
Best Actor Andy SerkisNominated
Genesis Awards Best Feature FilmRick Jaffa and Amanda SilverWon
Houston Film Critics Society [44] Best Supporting ActorAndy SerkisNominated
Technical AchievementWon
IGN Best of 2011 [45] Best MovieNominated
Best Sci-Fi MovieWon
Best Movie ActorAndy Serkis (also for The Adventures of Tintin )Nominated
Best Movie DirectorRupert WyattNominated
IGN Summer Movie Awards [46]
Best Summer MovieNominated
Funniest Line"Why cookie Rocket?"Nominated
Best All-Out BrawlApes vs. Humans on the Golden Gate BridgeNominated
Favorite KillHelicopter Pushed Over the Golden Gate BridgeNominated
Coolest Creature Caesar Won
Favorite HeroCaesar – Andy SerkisWon
Las Vegas Film Critics Society [47] Best Visual EffectsWon
London Film Critics Circle Technical AchievementJoe LetteriNominated
Phoenix Film Critics SocietyBest Visual EffectsNominated
San Diego Film Critics Society [48] Best Supporting ActorAndy SerkisNominated
Satellite Awards [49] Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Andy SerkisNominated
Best Visual Effects Jeff Capogreco, Joe Letteri, R. Christopher WhiteNominated
Saturn Awards [50] Best Science Fiction Film Won
Best Supporting Actor Andy SerkisWon
Best Director Rupert WyattNominated
Best Writing Rick Jaffa and Amanda SilverNominated
Best Special Effects Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, R. Christopher White, and Daniel BarrettWon
Visual Effects Society [51] Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion PictureDan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Cyndi Ochs, Kurt WilliamsWon
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion PictureCaesar – Daniel Barrett, Florian Fernandez, Matthew Muntean, Eric ReynoldsWon
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion PictureThelvin Cabezas, Mike Perry, R. Christopher White, Erik Winquist Nominated
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion PictureJean-Luc Azzis, Quentin Hema, Simon Jung, Christoph SalzmannNominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association [52] Best Supporting Actor Andy SerkisNominated

Sequels

Regarding the story setting up possible sequels, director Rupert Wyatt commented: "I think we're ending with certain questions, which is quite exciting. To me, I can think of all sorts of sequels to this film, but this is just the beginning." [53] Screenwriter and producer Rick Jaffa also stated that Rise of the Planet of the Apes would feature several clues as to future sequels: "I hope that we're building a platform for future films. We're trying to plant a lot of the seeds for a lot of the things you are talking about in terms of the different apes and so forth." [7]

On May 31, 2012, 20th Century Fox announced that the sequel would be named Dawn of the Planet of the Apes . [54] Reports said that Wyatt was leaving the sequel due to his concern that a May 2014 release date would not give him enough time to properly make the film; [55] he was replaced by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves. [56] Jaffa and Silver returned as producers and to pen the screenplay, with rewrites from Scott Z. Burns [57] and Mark Bomback. [15]

Taking place ten years after Rise, Dawn follows Caesar's growing nation of evolved apes. Andy Serkis, Terry Notary and Karin Konoval reprise their roles as Caesar, Rocket and Maurice. [58] James Franco returned as Will Rodman in a "cameo via video". [59] Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was released July 11, 2014.

On January 6, 2014, 20th Century Fox announced a third installment with Reeves returning to direct and co-write along with Bomback, with a planned July 2016 release. [60] [61] In January 2015, Fox delayed the release to July 14, 2017. [62] [63] On May 14, 2015, the title was given as War of the Planet of the Apes, [64] later re-titled to War for the Planet of the Apes .

On December 3, 2019, it was reported that Wes Ball is currently set to direct an untitled Planet of the Apes film. [65] It is unknown whether Ball's film will serve as a follow-up to War for the Planet of the Apes or if it will be a reboot. [65]

However, back in August 2019, it was confirmed that any future installments would take place in the same universe first established in Rise. [66]

See also

Related Research Articles

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<i>Escape from the Planet of the Apes</i> 1971 science fiction film from the Planet of the Apes franchise directed by Don Taylor

Escape from the Planet of the Apes is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Don Taylor and written by Paul Dehn. It stars Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman and Ricardo Montalbán. It is the third of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, the second being Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). Its plot centers on many social issues of the day including scientific experimentation on animals, nuclear war and government intrusion. The film was well received by critics, getting the best reviews of the four Planet of the Apes sequels. It was followed by Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

Andy Serkis English actor

Andrew Clement Serkis is an English actor, producer, director and motion capture artist. He is best known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation, and voice work for such computer-generated characters as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), King Kong in the eponymous 2005 film, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot series (2011–2017), Captain Haddock / Sir Francis Haddock in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin (2011), and Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy filmsThe Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017). In 2018, he portrayed the character of Baloo in his self-directed film, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.

<i>Conquest of the Planet of the Apes</i> 1972 science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is a 1972 American science fiction film directed by J. Lee Thompson and written by Paul Dehn. It is the fourth of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs. The film stars Roddy McDowall, Don Murray and Ricardo Montalbán. It explores how the apes rebelled from humanity's ill treatment following Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). It was followed by Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973).

<i>Battle for the Planet of the Apes</i> 1973 film directed by J. Lee Thompson

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<i>Planet of the Apes</i> (1968 film) 1968 film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

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Rupert Wyatt is an English screenwriter, director, and producer. He made his directorial debut with the 2008 film The Escapist, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His second film was the 2011 blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He also directed the first two episodes of the television adaptation of The Mosquito Coast in 2021, as well as serving as an executive producer on the series.

<i>Dawn of the Planet of the Apes</i> 2014 film by Matt Reeves

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 American science fiction dystopian action thriller film directed by Matt Reeves and written by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. It stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. It is the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which began 20th Century Fox's reboot of the Planet of the Apes series. Dawn is set 10 years after the events of Rise, and follows a group of people in San Francisco who struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that wiped out most of humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.

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<i>War for the Planet of the Apes</i> 2017 film by Matt Reeves

War for the Planet of the Apes is a 2017 American science fiction action film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and written by Mark Bomback and Reeves. A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), it is the third film in the Planet of the Apes reboot series, and the ninth film in the Planet of the Apes film series. The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson and Steve Zahn, and follows a confrontation between the apes, led by Caesar, and the humans for control of Earth, while Caesar himself exacts revenge for the murder of his family. Like its predecessor, its premise shares several similarities to the fifth film in the original series, Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), but it is not a direct remake.

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Caesar (<i>Planet of the Apes</i>)

Caesar is a fictional character in the Planet of the Apes franchise. He is the leader of the apes in both the original and reboot series. Caesar is portrayed by Roddy McDowall in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1971) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). Later on Andy Serkis portrays the character in the reboot series consisting of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).

Koba (<i>Planet of the Apes</i>) Fictional character

Koba is a fictional character in the Planet of the Apes franchise, portrayed by Toby Kebbell. Following his brief introduction in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, where the character was portrayed by Christopher Gordon, Koba evolves into the main antagonist of the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and reappears posthumously as a central antagonistic presence in War for the Planet of the Apes.

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