With the San Diego Comic-Con in full swing, 20th Century Fox presented three new clips at the Con on Thursday for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The film’s star Andy Serkis was at the panel to introduce the clips, one of which was a Comic-Con exclusive.
You can watch all three clips here below.
Featuring a 15-second introduction by Serkis, who portrays the lead ape character Caesar through a combination of beautifully-rendered CGI and performance capture, the brief clip, titled “The Awakening,” follows Caesar as he prepares to lead his fellow chimps in a mass breakout while their keeper, played by Brian Cox, remains none the wiser. Not much to see here that hasn’t been featured extensively in the film’s trailers and TV spots, but we are treated to some extra shots of the apes coming together for the eventual uprising. I’m still trying to figure out how the gas canisters Caesar releases play into the whole situation: is it supposed to have the same intelligence-increasing effect on the others as the gene therapy treatment had on him? Who’s to say?
Serkis also contributes a scene-setting introduction to the next clip, shown at the film’s Comic-Con panel, titled “Kitchen Table/Neighbor Fight.” Again these scenes expand on moments previously shown in the trailers and gives us some insight into the relationship between Caesar and the Alzheimer’s-affected Charles, played by John Lithgow. It’s pretty intense and puts the amazing mo-cap performance work by Serkis center stage.
The final clip, which was an exclusive to the panel, and is a montage of highlights from the film’s third act, more of an expansion of the final 40 seconds of the last trailer. Since the movie is coming out so soon, no new information was released at the panel. Instead, the clips were shown and emphasis was put on Serkis’s motion-capture performance in the film. A behind-the-scenes video was shown of Serkis acting in his mo-cap suit juxtaposed with the CGI rending.
These are all good scenes but I’m wondering if this movie will have the same impact on me (and many others who came a generation before me) that 1972’s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which followed a vaguely similar storyline and also featured an ape protagonist named Caesar. That film was controversial for its time due to its graphic violence and strong social commentary. The original ending of Conquest was so dark and hopeless that the studio ordered it re-edited to give the ending a more optimistic tone. I’m still on the fence about Rise, but this film could still yet perform beyond my expectations. I can only hope.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis, Tom Felton, Brian Cox, and David Oyelowo, opens on August 5, 2011.