Tim Burton first remade the 1968 Charlton Heston classic Planet of the Apes back in 2001, to disastrous results. But this is Hollywood. You can’t very well leave a 40-year-old idea to wither on the vine! So now we’ve got a prequel (EVERYONE LOVES PREQUELS!) from 20th Century Fox. The idea came from a script by Scott Frank (Minority Report, Out of Sight), first called Caesar, which was re-written by The Relic writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa and retitled Rise of the Apes, which was later changed to Rise of Planet of the Apes. Because making sense be damned, we’ve gotta ride this wave of Planet of the Apes nostalgia! The story deals with a handsome scientist’s efforts to cure Alzheimer’s, inadvertently creating a race of super-intelligent apes in the process. Now the trailer’s here, starring James Franco in a Rupert Wyatt film, though WETA, the visual effects company, actually gets top billing.
The trailer is after the jump. And as you may have noticed in the banner image, I’ve made an important discovery vis a vis James Franco: the way he delivers eighty percent of his lines with his eyes closed makes him look like a doo wop singer.
Here’s the official synopsis. It is an absolute triumph of awful PR writing:
An origin story in the true sense of the word…
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY IMITATION ORIGIN STORIES.
…RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is set in present day San Francisco. The film is a reality-based cautionary tale…
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY NON-REALITY-BASED FICTION! OUR STORY IS FORTIFIED WITH A PROPRIETARY BLEND OF BELIEVABILITY™!
— a science fiction/science-fact blend where mankind’s hubris leads to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
OUR PATENT-PENDING SCIENCE-FACT FORMULA IS 60% TRUTHIER THAN THE LEADING BRAND!
Oscar(R)-winning visual effects house WETA Digital – employing certain of the groundbreaking technologies developed for “Avatar” –
WE CAN’T TELL YOU WHICH GROUND BREAKING TECHNOLOGIES WERE DEVELOPED, OUR LAWYERS WOULD KILL US! BUT REST ASSURED THAT IT’S MORE THAN “SOME” AND LESS THAN “ALL”!
…will render, for the first time ever in the film series, photo-realistic apes rather than costumed actors. [Apple]
AND NOW… FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY… MOTHERF*CKING CGI! YOU’VE NEVER SEEN CGI IN A MODERN MOVIE BEFORE!
APES! WILL! RISE!
[Opens August 5th]