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Beneath The Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes

April 15th, 2011

The first trailer for the upcoming Planet of the Apes sequel/remake is out. ┬áThe project–formerly known as Caesar and/or Rise of the Apes–has been redubbed Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Furthermore, this new title has been lovingly rendered in the original film’s typeface. I approve.

What of the trailer itself? It looks like a film that could go either way. It has the benefit of being a quasi-remake of one of the better entries in the original Apes cycle, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. On the other hand, it appears to be going the traditional route of science-gone-wrong rather than tackling the civil rights allegory of that earlier film.

And it must be said: the problem with Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes “reimagining” was not that it needed more realistic monkeys.

Admittedly, it never quite made sense to me that the ape servants of Conquest‘s near-future world already resembled the creatures that Charlton Heston encountered in the nuclear-blasted 40th Century. Rise looks as if it will avoid that potential disconnect while at the same time providing an explanation for the primates’ rapid evolution.

I suppose that Peter Jackson’s WETA special-effects crew will work the same magic they did with Gollum, and that the performance of Andy Serkis–who plays Caesar, the leader of the ape revolt–will show through his digital avatar just as it did in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Still, a big part of the charm of those old films was the (groundbreaking for the time) monkey makeups.

As I said, this one could go either way.

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