Friday, May 07, 2010

Pre-PLANET Planning

Speaking of summer tentpoles from Fox, the studio has also slotted in their Planet of the Apes revival -- last discussed here -- into a June berth for next year (making 2011 quite the feast for genre fans).  Deadline has the full press release on the film, now titled Rise of the Apes, but the broad strokes are that it's a prequel to the original Chuck Heston classic, is set in the present day, and will, for the first time, utilize CGI effects rather than man-in-makeup appliances to raise the titular apes.

Based on what we know so far, this has the potential to not just restart the franchise, but also be a pretty good standalone story as well.  My lifelong allegiance to this property makes me a hopeless optimist here, but, just like with the X-Men prequel, I'm concerned by the thirteen months -- an extremely abbreviated window -- that director Rupert Wyatt (whose work I'm also completely unfamiliar with) has to to bring it all to the screen.  I'm really wondering what's going on at Fox that they're rushing these things out with so little time on the runway.

The original Planet remains one of the most memorable sci-fi movies ever made, and any attempt to recapture that mojo is going to have an uphill climb, as we learned in '01 with Tim Burton's ill-fated Apes remakeIn a story on this new film, AICN perfectly bullseyes where the Burton experiment went afoul, describing it as completely lacking the "wonder, suspense, unpredictability and sense of peril that made the old movies so fully awesome."  That pretty much says it, and I sure as heck hope the Fox higher-ups have learned their lesson in the decade since. 

1 comment:

The Mad Swede said...

Here's hoping.

I love the first five Planet of the Apes (with the first and fourth ranking highest for me, and the second coming in close behind, perhaps mostly for nostalgic reasons, since it was the first one I saw as a kid) and I love Burton, but there ain't nothing on this Earth that will ever get me to include that vile piece of trash that is his PotA film in my film collection. Despite the fact that it leaves my Burton collection incomplete.

For me where Burton truly failed (albeit not the only place) was in depicting the apes as way too apish and the humans not even close to animalistic enough. It just never gelled as an evolution turned upside down kind of deal and that, to me, was a deal breaker.

The one positive thing I took from that approach to the apes was that I thought it'd be an excellent approach for a new Tarzan film.