- "Evolution Becomes Revolution"
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 American science fiction film and an origin story for a rebooted series of Planet of the Apes films. It was originally planned for a June 2011 US release, but was moved to November 23, 2011 and finally to August 5, 2011.
Will Rodman, a San Francisco scientist, has been working for five years on "ALZ-112", a genetically-engineered retrovirus that may be a cure for Alzheimer's Disease. ALZ-112 not only repairs brain cells, but genetically enhances them, giving chimpanzees a human level of intelligence. One of his test subjects is "Bright Eyes", a female chimpanzee that was recently captured from the West African Jungle. Much to everyone's shock, Bright Eyes goes on a rampage two months into her trial, before security is forced to kill her in front of board members, thus destroying any chance of developing ALZ-112 further. It is then discovered, however, that Bright Eyes' aggression was not due to the drug, but due to her maternal instinct to protect her baby, to whom she had secretly given birth a day or two earlier. Will's money and power hungry supevisor, Steven Jacobs, orders all twelve test chimpanzees put down after Bright Eyes' rampage, but Robert Franklin, the chimp handler responsible for carrying out this order, cannot bring himself to kill the chimpanzee baby, and instead gives it to Will, who names him Caesar and raises him in his house.
Caesar inherited his mother's high intelligence due to the drug, thus learning at a fast rate. Caesar is able to learn sign language with the help of Will and a veterinarian named Caroline Aranha. After three years, Will also gives a sample of ALZ-112 to his father, Charles, who is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. At first his father improves but five years later, his body's immune system develops antibodies that fight off the virus and his dementia returns. In his state of dementia, Charles gets into his neighbor's car and turns it on, the key carelessly left in the ignition. He presses the gas and hits the cars in front of him and behind him, getting the attention of the neighbor, Hunsiker, who threatens and pushes down Charles. Caesar is also alerted to the situation and jumps out of a window, attacking and biting the neighbor's finger off in Charles's defense. After the incident, Caesar is forced to leave Will's house and is held in the San Bruno Primate Shelter run by John Landon, where the apes are held in cages, except during intermissions when they are released into a jungle-themed play area. The apes inside the facility are treated cruelly by Landon's son, Dodge, who works as a guard there.
At the primate facility, Caesar starts out being treated poorly by both the staff and by the other apes. In the exercise area, he is horribly beaten by the dominant chimp, Rocket. Despite this, Caesar manages to form a friendship with Maurice, a former circus orangutan who also knew sign language. Later, Dodge brings his friends into the facility who tease the apes. Without caution his male friend moves too close to Caesar's cage and is grabbed by Caesar, having his pocket knife unknowingly stolen. Later, Caesar ties the pocket knife to a stick and uses it to unlock the door and free himself. He goes into the play den where he frees Buck, a large and aggressive male gorilla, gaining his respect and friendship. Caesar, with Buck at his side, lures Rocket into the exercise area where he hits Rocket over the head with a metal gasoline canister (one of the toys given to the apes) but does no more harm, establishing his dominance over the apes in the facility. Later Caesar steals cookies from Dodge and gives them to Rocket. Though tempted to eat them all, he instead, gives them to the other apes. Caesar gains the respect and companionship of Rocket and the other apes. Later, Caesar tells Maurice his reason for making Rocket share: "Apes alone, weak. Apes together, Strong!" However, pointing to several apes behaving foolishly, Maurice states "Apes stupid" which unknowingly gives Caesar an idea.
Meanwhile, in his laboratory, Will creates a more powerful virus called ALZ-113 to further treat his father. New tests begin on ten chimps, with more later taken from the San Bruno facility. The drug strengthens the intelligence of the apes but, unknown to Will, is fatal to humans. While testing the ALZ-113 on a bonobo with a scar on his face, Koba, the latter manages to expose Franklin to the new virus, who then begins sneezing blood as a result. Later, Franklin is found dead in his apartment, his face covered in blood. Will discovers the deadliness of the virus and attempts to warn Jacobs, but Jacobs insists on proceeding with the tests, most notably Koba, Will quits his job at Gen-Sys Laboratories, angry with Jacobs for his decisions.
Caesar eventually escapes from the primate facility and travels to Will's house, where he steals some canisters of an air-borne strain of ALZ-113 and returns to the facility, releasing it throughout the cage area and enhancing the intelligence and mental capabilities of himself and his fellow apes. The next day, he examines the apes and realizes they are Evolved Apes like him, with his people now more intelligent, Caesar begins to put another plan into action. That evening Dodge notices Caesar in the play area when he is not supposed to be. When Dodge tries to get him back into his cage, Caesar shocks everyone by speaking for the first time, yelling NO!. Caesar then knocks Dodge out and puts him in a cage before freeing the other apes. The apes witness the remaining night watchman, Rodney, enter and start beating the watchman until Caesar stops them because Rodney was kind to the apes. Instead Caesar locks Rodney in a cage. Dodge then wakes up and Caesar sprays him with a hose while his electric cattle-prod is turned on, electrocuting and killing him when he attempts to attack Caesar again. Caesar then releases Buck and the apes at the facility. They escape the facility by breaking the windows above the play area and climbing through them, and then flee into the city. Caesar divides his forces in two, with his group making their way to the Gen-Sys lab as he knows some of the shelter apes including Lucky and Cornelia. Meanwhile, Buck releases the apes at the San Francisco Zoo, successfully leading an escape of hundreds of apes through the streets of San Francisco, terrorizing the city and its people.
The apes then use a trolley to head for their next target, the Golden Gate Bridge. They planned to cross the bridge to get to the Muir Woods Park redwoods, but are forced to battle a police blockade on the bridge. Caesar, realizing something is up, stops his army and launches a three-pronged plan. Most of the chimpanzees, guided by Koba, bypass the blockage by traversing the bridge's high-wire supports. The orangutans and some of the chimpanzees led by Maurice bypass the blockage by traveling along the bottom supports. The gorillas and several other chimps, headed by Caesar, Buck and Rocket confront the blockage directly, going straight across the bridge. Caesar has the gorillas push a bus in front of the police bullets and then steal a police horse. Caesar orders his army to attack, resulting a fierce battle. Despite their advanced weapons, the police are defeated by the apes. However, Jacobs arrives in a helicopter and Police Chief John Hamil who begins gunning down a few of the apes before setting sights on Caesar. Buck sacrifices himself to save Caesar by jumping into the helicopter and attacking the pilot. This causes the helicopter to crash onto the bridge, killing everyone except for Jacobs, who is trapped beneath the wreckage. Koba seizes his chance for revenge and sends Jacobs falling to his death into the bay below. Most of the apes survive the battle, and escape into the Muir Woods Park redwood forest.
Will steals a police car and follows the apes, arriving at the forest. He calls for Caesar until he is suddenly attacked by Koba. However, Caesar appears to stop the angry bonobo before he can do any more harm to Will. Will then warns Caesar that the humans are strong and could do serious harm to him and his people. He promises to protect Caesar if he only comes home, where it is safe. Caesar, looking upon his followers and now being capable of basic human speech, hugs Will and informs him "Caesar is home." The surprised Will gives Caesar his blessings and Caesar gives the assurance he will be safe with his army of apes. The ending scene shows the apes making way for Caesar as he climbs to the top of his favorite tree, where he is joined by Maurice and Rocket on adjacent trees. The apes look over San Francisco watching the chaos they inflicted unfold on the humans.
A mid-credit scene reveals that neighbor Hunsiker, who had been infected with the virus by the now-deceased Franklin (unintentionally), is a pilot. As he walks into the airport, he stops in front of the a flight board to wipe his nose, which is dripping blood. The flight board transitions to a flight map showing a single flight leaving New York, heading across the Atlantic. When the graphic touches Paris, the graphic shows air routes branch out from Paris to cities near and far around the world. Each of these destination graphics branch out to cities across Europe and Asia. The globe turns underneath as the flight paths cover the Earth, showing the spread of the simian flu pandemic, in which the human population is decimated.
Cast and Crew
- Andy Serkis as Caesar
- James Franco as Dr. Will Rodman
- Freida Pinto as Caroline Aranha
- John Lithgow as Charles Rodman
- Brian Cox as John Landon
- Tom Felton as Dodge Landon
- David Oyelowo as Steven Jacobs
- Tyler Labine as Robert Franklin
- Jamie Harris as Rodney
- Ty Olsson as Chief John Hamil
- David Hewlett as Douglas Hunsiker
- Karin Konoval as Maurice/Court Clerk
- Terry Notary as Bright Eyes/Rocket/stunt double for Andy Serkis and Richard Ridings (uncredited)
- Richard Ridings as Buck
- Christopher Gordon as Koba/stunt double for David Hewlett
- Devyn Dalton as Cornelia
- Jay Caputo as Alpha
- Jesse Reid as Donnie Thompson
- BJ Harrison as Dottie
- Leah Gibson as Party Girl #1
- Tracy Spiridakos as Party Girl #2
- Chelah Horsdal as Irena
- Mattie Hawkinson as Linda Andersen
- James Pizzinato as Lab Tech #1
- Gordon Douglas Myren as Local Guy
- Riel Hahn as Zoo Guide
- Joey Roche as Todd Hunsiker
- Sean Roche as Todd Hunsiker (teen)
- Qayam Devji as Todd's Buddy
- Madison Bell as Alice Hunsiker
- Makena Joy as Alice Hunsiker (teen)
- Kevin O'Grady as Animal Control Officer #1
- Sean Tyson as Animal Control Officer #2
- Kyle Riefsnyder as CHP #1
- Rufus Dorsey as CHP #2
- Ivan Wanis Ruiz as Lab Handler #1
- Trevor Carroll as Lab Handler #2
- Elizabeth Weinstein as Mom in Muir Woods
- Jeb Beach as Dad in Muir Woods
- Jack Kuris as Boy in Muir Woods
- Meredith Canby/Grantier as New Aide
- Javier Caballero Cano as Newspaper Dad
- Peter Bundic as Newspaper Boy #1
- Dylan Nouri as Newspaper Boy #2
- Derek Morrison as Security Guard #1
- Dean Redman as Security Guard #2
- Hector Johnson as Security Guard #3
- David Richmond-Peck as Board Member #1
- Adrian Hough as Board Member #2
- Evans Johnson as Board Member #3
- Michael Kopsa as Jerk Driver
- Steve Lawlor as SFPD #1
- Chris Shields as SFPD #2
- Sandy Robson as SFPD #3
- Ryan Booth as South Side Commander
- Mike Dopud as Northside Officer
- Stacey Schmidt as Jogger
- Willy Miles as Guy with Newspaper
- Adrian Hein as Sharpshooter
- Simon Burnett as ape stunts
- Trevor Jones as ape stunts
- Jeffery Ong as ape stunts
- Trevor Addie as ape stunts
- Loyd Bateman as ape stunts
- Scott Lang as ape stunts
- Raymond Chan as ape stunts
- Mike Desabrais as stunt double for John Lithgow
- Jon Kralt as stunt double for Tom Felton
- Richard Darwin as Baby Caesar (puppeteer)
- Sonja Bennett ... Mother on Sidewalk (Woman on Street)
- Kis Yurij ... Worker (#2)
- Robin Nielsen ... Lab Tech #2
- Monica Mustelier ... Lab Tech #3
- Syn Narula ... Lab Tech #4
- Tammy Hui ... Bridge Driver
- Mark Henriques ... Driver #2
- Matteo Mazziotti ... Child in Car
- Hal Myshrall ... Scientist
- Anthony McRae ... CHP #3
- Timothy Webber ... Janitor (Stan Timko)
- Oona Service ... Playground Girl
- Camille Atebe ... Playground Mom
- Luc Roderique ... SWAT
- Panou ... SFPD #4
- Fred North ... Camera Ship Pilot
- Allen Martin ... KPIX News Anchor
- Juliette Goodrich ... KPIX News Anchor
- unknown ... Lucky
- unknown ... Wolfie
- unknown ... Andy
- unknown ... Jeanpierre
- Director ... Rupert Wyatt
- Screenwriters ... Amanda Silver, Rick Jaffa, Mark Bomback (uncredited)
- Producers ... Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
- Executive Producer ... Thomas M. Hammel
- Cinematography ... Andrew Lesnie
- Production Designer ... Claude Pare
- Film Editor ... Conrad Buff IV, Mark Goldblatt
- Co-Producer ... Kurt Williams
- Senior Visual Effects Supervisor ... Joe Letteri
- Visual Effects Supervisor ... Dan Lemmon
- Music ... Patrick Doyle
- Costume Designer ... Renee April
- Casting ... Debra Zane
- Unit Production Manager ... Wendy S. Williams, Thomas M. Hammel
- Assistant Director ... Pete Whyte
- Gen-Sys Laboratories
- Muir Woods Park
- San Bruno Primate Shelter
- San Francisco Zoo
- San Francisco
- Golden Gate Bridge
- 'The Volume' (performance/motion-capture sound stage)
- Mammoth Studios, Vancouver
- British Columbia
- San Francisco
- O'ahu, Hawaii
Behind the Scenes
Film Development In 2008, rumors suggested 20th Century Fox were developing a new Planet of the Apes film, to be called Planet of the Apes: Genesis or Genesis: Apes. The concept originated with an idea by screen-writing partners Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, as Jaffa explained in 2010: "The idea came together from several different sources and bits I'd been working on and staring at for a long time, one of which was the amount of people in our country that are raising chimps and primates in their home, some as pets, but many as children. I'd done a lot of research for other projects about genetic engineering, and then I had been reading a lot of accounts of people who had been attacked by their own chimpanzees after having raised them. So a lot of those ideas were just sitting there, and they just coalesced one day as an idea for 'Planet of the Apes'." "I was literally sitting on the floor looking at about 50 different things I’d been working on and researching, and just moving pieces around on the floor. And I swear, I just said, 'Oh my god. This is Planet of the Apes!'" "Amanda and I had been working at Fox, and we called them up and said that we’ve got this idea... The idea was just one of those things that came together so strongly and so quickly that we called up and pitched it, and then they talked it over and decided to go through with it." "We thought it was a small little character movie when we first went in." Amanda Silver added, "We took our pitch to Peter Kang at Fox and he's just this great executive, we'd worked with him before, and we pitched it to him and he got really excited, took us down the hall at that time. This is 2006, so Hutch Parker was President of Production then and, you know, we got so lucky. We were sure that Fox was already developing this."
After re-acquainting himself with the movies via an Apes marathon, the history lesson from talking chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira in Escape from the Planet of the Apes had stuck with Jaffa and would become the starting point of the script: "We picked a part of...we constructed the narrative around this one bit of Apes mythology which comes from [Escape] where they talk about the first chimp that spoke. So, we knew that was going be a big part of the narrative, and we kind of worked forwards and backwards and we kind of built to that." Despite that 'history' naming Aldo as the first talking ape, the writers opted to use the more familiar name of 'Caesar' for their main character: "We knew enough about the Apes mythology that we knew we had to name him Caesar, because Caesar was the ape that led the apes' revolution." Because of the character name and basic story, it was widely assumed that this would effectively be a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and a re-telling of the story of Caesar, the son of Cornelius and Zira, who led the apes in rebellion in that movie (portrayed by actor Roddy McDowall). This wasn't exactly what Jaffa had envisioned: "We never wanted to compete with the original and the Statue of Liberty. What our concept was really, from what we said to Fox, was we want to approach this in a very realistic way. Meaning, what's going on in our world today, that if the right dominoes were to line up, touch each other, it could lead to apes taking over the planet and, perhaps, getting Colonel Taylor on that beach in thirty-nine hundred years. So, it does explain how the apes took over, but this is a different Caesar we're looking at, it's not the same Caesar. 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... it's kind of tough to put a specific word to it." Silver continued, "From early drafts, the character Caesar has changed. I don’t know how many drafts we’ve done. Maybe thirty - an unbelievable number. But in early drafts, like, 2006, 2007 drafts, the Caesar character is motivated more by revenge. He has more of a Michael Corleone trajectory." They considered Caesar to be going through a type of 'teenage angst', and consequently listened to bands like The Who and Pink Floyd while writing the script. The over-riding theme that this film would share with the original was that "Man's hubris will be his downfall". Jaffa further stated, "When reports of the script and the project got out, it started being labelled a reboot and a prequel, and then a remake of 'Conquest' and stuff. That was all surprising to us, because we never really thought of it that way. It was more just, 'wouldn’t it be cool to re-imagine what could get us here?'." However, as if to confirm that misconception, by December 2008 the movie was retitled Caesar. It was announced that Scott Frank (screenwriter of Minority Report and director of the 2007 film The Lookout) would direct and had asked Scott Rudin to serve as producer (the two had enjoyed working together on Little Man Tate twenty years earlier). Silver and Jaffa wrote "a draft and a half" for Frank, who then decided to rewrite the script himself, with Silver and Jaffa relegated to the role of co-producers. Frank stressed it would be a sci-fi movie inspired by Planet of the Apes (not a remake of Conquest), about a genetically altered chimpanzee who leads an ape revolution. Frank further explained the film would not enter active development until February 2009. He wanted to make a hard science fiction film about genetic engineering, and use computer-generated imagery to portray Caesar's evolution. When Fox Chairman Tom Rothman spoke about the planned movie during a dedicated 'Channel of the Apes' weekend on Fox Movie Channel at the end of November 2008, he confirmed, "We are very close at Fox on a new Apes script - this one a kind of prequel story before the first story, with a return to the social thematics that mark the first one, but with an entirely contemporary setting - Earth 2009."
During 2009, however, Scott Frank left the project. It was reported that it was too expensive and seen as too dark, and might have been too cerebral for the studio that makes movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Frank was apparently unwilling to change direction, and Scott Rudin left as well. Fox briefly hired writer Jamie Moss (Street Kings) to rework Frank's script, but the future of Caesar seemed up in the air. Then, over Christmas 2009, the original writers were brought back and told to prepare a new draft urgently. Jaffa recalled, "Amanda and I worked on it for about two years or so, and then Scott came on. We worked with Scott, and he was functioning as the director and we were the writers, and we did a few drafts with him. That was over a period of a few months, and then Scott did one draft and then moved on. There was more development, and then we were brought back at some point to bring it back to a version of where we started. So Scott did one draft." A version of the script dated January 8, 2010 was later leaked, written by Silver & Jaffa. Amanda Silver believed one major improvement was the development of the character of Will's father (replacing the geneticist's wife from earlier drafts). The Golden Gate Bridge now became the focal point of the ending, satisfying Tom Rothman's demand for an iconic image like the Statue of Liberty. Chernin Entertainment - the company set up by Peter Chernin, one of Rothman's predecessors as Chairman of Fox - was tipped to produce.
March 2010 brought news that Fox had hired Rupert Wyatt, writer/director of The Escapist, to direct the once-again-retitled Caesar: Rise of the Apes. Wyatt later recalled, "Just after I had finished 'The Escapist' I was sent the script for this, pre-Scott Frank, and it was a very different movie. It was written by the same writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who originated the script. Contrary to a lot of reports, people think this was Scott Frank's project from conception, which it wasn't. They had a take on it that ultimately was very different from the film you saw. Scott Frank got involved in that and developed it in a certain direction the studio didn't want to go, didn't see eye-to-eye, I'm not entirely sure what happened but he left the project. Rick and Amanda came back onto the project and then the studio decided it was a film they really wanted to make. They started seeking a new director, which is when I came in. Rick and Amanda in the meantime had reconfigured certain aspects of the original script and evolved it to such a place that when I got the script I remembered it from three years before but it had become very different and much more exciting to me. It became less a story of domesticization of a pet and more about an uprising and a Che Guevara story." Details of the script were leaked in March: "Like Frank's version, 'Caesar: Rise of the Apes' is centered on genetic research. Will is a doctor trying to cure Alzheimers, a disease that afflicts his father. He's working with monkeys to create a benign virus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality. After his research is shut down he's left with just one chimp, the child of his most promising subject, and Will raises him at home. Young Caesar is incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continues to mutate and evolve, looking less like a chimp and moving on from sign language to actual speech. Eventually Caesar ends up leading an army of apes in an uprising just as a catastrophe strikes mankind." It was also reported that the movie would include nods to the original movie and tie directly into the original movie series: "TV newscasts recount the launch of a space craft called the 'Icarus', led by a Colonel Taylor, which eventually disappears while going around the dark side of Mars... A female scientist is named Stewart, which was the name of the female Icarus crew-member. Dodge and Landon, also Icarus crew-members in the original film, appear as names, but in very different roles than in 'Planet of the Apes'. Dodge is a bad guy, in fact." These 'nods' had been included right from the earliest draft scripts, with the studio even asking the writers to tone them down; instead they just used more obscure references that went over the studio executive's heads. The idea of including Taylor's ship appeared about the third or fourth draft, around late 2007. Mark Bomback (Live Free Or Die Hard) was brought in as an uncredited 'script doctor', and among his contributions was Caesar drawing the shape of his bedroom window on his cage wall to remind him of home. Wyatt took this concept further by using the window shape as Caesar's logo - as featured in on-screen graffiti and in early publicity material.
Chernin Entertainment's involvement was officially confirmed in May. The company's head of movie production, Dylan Clark, commented, "When we started the company, we didn’t think 'Planet of the Apes anything' would be our first movie. I knew that these guys were doing it, Scott Frank’s a very good friend of mine, and I thought the idea was a smart one to do. I felt much like what 'Batman' has done, where you can come in and choose to tell what part of the story you want within the mythology that exists. For us, I know Peter and I never thought, 'Oh, we have to do Planet of the Apes!' We felt like, because the idea was so strong, that it was a great one to do because it represented the big tent-pole movie that was also smart. The quality was there." "It’s definitely not a remake and it’s definitely not a prequel. I don’t know. I think Burton called his a 're-imagining'. I don’t like that word either... I mean, if he were in here, I would say, 'Come on, own up. It’s a little bit more of a remake'. For some reason they decided to have the humans talking, which was a little crazy." Rupert Wyatt confirmed this assessment: "I certainly wouldn’t say that we are looking to reference stylistically from the other films. 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'. I’m sure there will be people who say 'it wasn’t faithful to anything, or faithful to what we wanted'... It’s a total re-imagining with regards to certain characters, certain story points and the facts of the original films." "We are looking to create the origin story and actually recreate the mythology, I suppose, and start it again." May also revealed that Peter Jackson's Weta Digital studio would be creating CGI apes instead of using costumed actors in make-up (as in every previous film), that filming would take place in British Columbia, Canada, in July, and that Fox had scheduled a June 24th 2011 release date. James Franco would play the human lead after talks with Tobey Maguire failed (reportedly because Maguire suggested script changes), and Shia LaBeouf turned down the role. In June and July, names of other cast-members began to be revealed: John Lithgow would play Will's ill father; Freida Pinto would be the female lead, and Don Cheadle's name was also associated with the project. Andy Serkis was named as the actor playing Caesar (joining the production "very late in the day" just a week before shooting started), Brian Cox as the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary, and Tom Felton (from the Harry Potter movies) as Dodge.
The film takes place over the course of six to eight years or so, beginning in the here and now and culminating as Caesar grows up and his intelligence increases dramatically. The events of the film are set between 2010 and 2016. The leaked January 2010 version of the Silver/Jaffa script had the female primatologist character named 'Mollie Stewart', but later drafts replaced her with Caroline Aranha. The father character (Lithgow) was named Charles. The primatologist and Franco's geneticist character, Will, become lovers. Caesar lives with Will, and a mean neighbor mistreats Caesar which leads to his anger at humans. Caesar acquires the ability to speak and gets smart gradually. The apes revolt using their "brute strength", rather than weapons. This draft was described as "a smart science-fiction film" and "a loose prequel... down the middle between a prequel to the 1968 film and a reboot", but there was reportedly also pressure from Fox to "dumb it down" quite a bit. "It's not that dark, but it has dark moments. It's very chilling. There isn't much action up until the third act, then the action gets intense". "The only thing that's the same as 'Conquest' is that the name of the first chimp to talk is 'Caesar', and that's it". This film would have less connection to Pierre Boulle's original novel than any of the previous Apes films, using none of his character names (unless you count 'Cornelia'), no alien world of intelligent apes and no talking primates; only the use the 'Planet of the Apes' name would merit Boulle's "suggested by" credit. In contrast, character names like Landon and Dodge were created by Rodman (Rod) Serling, who also devised the twist of apes taking over planet Earth. The concept of ape servitude provoking a revolution by its mute victims was then detailed in films written by Paul Dehn to explain Serling's premise, so whether or not the makers acknowledge it, this is a movie based substantially on Serling's and Dehn's ideas.
Live-action filming took place in Vancouver in July and August, where a large number of actors from the city's thriving film industry also joined the cast. Other parts of British Columbia were also used for location shooting, and a huge replica of part of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was constructed. As on Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes ten years earlier, acrobat and actor Terry Notary coached the other ape actors in the technique of simian movement. The first scene shot using the new digital technology was the fight between Caesar and his neighbour (Hunsiker). The scenes involving the young Caesar were filmed with Andy Serkis, who was digitally 'shrunk' to an appropriate height. In mid-August 2010, on day 35 of the 58-day shoot, a reporter from Empire Magazine visited filming "at the British Columbia Institute Of Technology's Aerospace Campus in Richmond; a 300,000-square-foot facility whose smooth, gunmetal and dark-glass styling suits the story's present-day-to-very-close-future setting, doubling as it does for the Gen-Sys research facility - the appropriately named Ground Zero spot for events which will spiral and eventually evolve into the worldwide dominance of those "damn, dirty apes" some 20 centuries later. ...It is here that "chimp-plus" Caesar (Andy Serkis) was sired some six years earlier, born to one of Rodman's test subjects; both mother and offspring vastly mentally developed as a result of their exposure to Will's '112 drug'." A total of 250 scenes were filmed, which contained over 900 visual effects shots. Rise was the first movie shooting the majority of its performance capture on location and on live sets rather than in a volume (motion-capture stage), with director Rupert Wyatt telling Empire, "That [Golden Gate Bridge] set was so massive, Weta had to essentially build a volume to digitally capture the 360 degrees of that world and recreate it, so rigging for something like that is quite a huge task." Serkis added, "It was the biggest-ever motion-capture volume on a live-action set. It was, like, 400 metres long, and they managed to get motion-capture cameras to cover the entire area, which was just extraordinary - in daylight, with reflective surfaces like cars, etc. It was a real, real milestone for performance capture."
Wyatt contradicted claims the movie was not a prequel, saying "In this film, we see television footage of the 'Icarus' taking off from Earth, so that's a clear reference to the 1968 film because that's the ship Charlton Heston and his crew were on. We've also incorporated elements from ['Conquest'], in terms of how the apes begin to revolt, but this is primarily a prequel to the 1968 film." At a press visit to the set in August, writer/producer Rick Jaffa spoke about the tributes to the original films included in the new movie, such as character names and the reference to Colonel Taylor's spaceship. "We tried to be as loyal to the mythology of those movies so that fans would feel like great care was taken in trying to apply some of that to this story to the degree that we could. At some point you just have to make your own movie. So decisions like that were made, and there’s lots of fun stuff for Apes fans specifically that we put in there. I don’t know how much the guys know about the story and so forth, but there is one huge mythological point, if you will." "[The names are] more of a nod, yeah. Because they’re fun names. I mean we spent a lot of time exploring the different names, and almost all of the names have some obvious, like really obvious [connection], and some extremely obscure." "The thing about the Icarus is that it’s a big nod to the past and for the fans. Quite frankly, it opens up great possibilities for coming back in time into what, hopefully, we’ve set up - to bring back some of the other ape narratives and mythologies. It’s interesting, at one point, one of our friends said, 'It sounds like you guys are trying to fix the original'. And we weren’t really at all, but we were really aware of a lot of small details that the original had, that maybe we could explain or set that up, so that maybe the fans could go, 'Oh my god, I see what they’re doing. They’re setting this up for the future'. But the reality is, ultimately we just had to make it work as a contemporary story. Science Fiction. Science Fact, in a way." Producer Dylan Clark added, "I wanted to put as much shit in there as I could possibly put. These guys were smart enough to keep pulling me back. There’s a line you cross where it will get ridiculous. You have to have a natural rhythm to who your actors are and characters. Once you start seeing the sets, all that stuff starts to help. The goal was to make this one very realistic story. There is a line you could go past where it starts to become silly, but we were aware of it."
Rupert Wyatt suggested, "We’ve always referenced 'Close Encounters' as the sort of film that this should be, and if you look at the actors in a film like that, they’re fundamentally character actors, playing leading roles. If you look at Richard Dreyfus, his career is so broad in terms of what he’s done and what he’s achieved but the bedrock of his career is that he’s a terrific character as well as a leading man, and I think that was always our approach." "The other Apes films dealt with talking apes and apes that were humanoid in many ways. This film isn't about that. It's about apes as apes... We had a choice of using either live apes or CGI. Personally, I had moral problems with the idea of using chimps. And from a practical point of view it would be virtually impossible to get them to do what we need them to do within our schedule." Rick Jaffa agreed: "We knew it ultimately wouldn’t be up to us, but we never thought in a million years they’d use real apes. Because in many ways, it’s an animal rights story. You’re not going to be able to get around that issue - the treatment of the animals." In fact, it was reported that Wyatt wanted to send a message to other studios that in this day of advanced computer animation, there’s no need to stress out real animals for film-making, and that Fox Studios was working with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to draw awareness to animal experimentation in labs around the world. Andy Serkis agreed, claiming that it represented a massive improvement on the 1968 movie: "As much as [the original films] are loved, I don't think you could have got away in this day and age with doing the coconut-shell mouths. You couldn't have done it any other way than performance capture." James Franco had a similar attitude: "I actually haven’t seen all of the Apes movies. I saw the first one a long time ago and then I watched it again and I watched a documentary about the making of all of them. And I guess back in the day they spent a ton of money, at the time what was a ton of money, on makeup and effects. Now I assume the original Apes movie has kind of a cult appeal but you look at the masks and you say, ‘Well... I can’t believe they are having serious philosophical conversations and they’re wearing those crazy masks’. But reality, or the idea of apes talking, has moved forward." "In the later movies it becomes about race and social upheaval, so the movies were kind of comments on current issues. The older movies can get away with that with their cult value. 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is not a bunch of apes sitting around having philosophical discussions." "I don’t feel the same way about 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' as I do about '127 Hours' or 'Milk'. It was a different kind of acting... I never thought of this movie as an example of my creativity. I was an actor for hire... It sounds to me the final movie will be different from the screenplay, which had a lot of character development. The movie seems to be more action now. I went and did my job, and I’m supposed to be a scientist. I feel pretty confident that I did that."
The gap between filming and the release date of June 24th the following year was primarily to allow for the special effects to be perfected. In January 2011, Fox changed the release date for the movie - now shortened to Rise of the Apes - to November 23rd, but in March changed it again to August 5th. This was most likely due to market calculations of the films it would be showing against. April brought one further change of title: Rise of the Planet of the Apes - a more traditional POTA name, accompanied by a traditional POTA logo. In the original filmed climax to the movie, John Landon follows Will into Muir Woods Park with a shotgun and Will gets killed protecting Caesar. Landon is then killed by the apes and Koba takes Landon's gun. A test audience was shown this ending and reacted negatively, and so a different ending was shot on the weekend of July 4, 2011, in Griffith Park, with a slightly more positive feel.
On the question of further installments Rick Jaffa said, "We definitely think this story is a great platform for future films and that's why we're only showing the early stages of the ape uprising because we think this is an interesting story." Rupert Wyatt added, "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", though Dylan Clark was more cautious: "Yeah, there’s obvious [sequels], because the movie ends at a certain place and you’ve established characters that are around, so we could. But really, it’s finite right now, like just nailing down this one. They haven’t come to us and said, 'Ooh, the dailies look amazing', none of that’s happened. I mean not even one conversation. Because again, I think the only thing you can do is set up to make one good movie. I think if you could make a good movie, 2 and 3 can be done, like 'Pirates', [but] Pirates 2 and 3 weren’t as good as 1... We’re a tough act to follow."
Following the film's release, Wyatt expanded on some of his ideas for a sequel: "We want to grow and evolve in (hopefully) the films that will come after this to the 1968 original, where it will all fit together." "You could start this story again eight years from where we left off, the next generation of apes, those that have come from our protagonists, perhaps going in to a conflict with humans and showing real fear, in the same way as going into war for young soldiers in this day and age, telling their story. Or how apes are taking over cities, and being moved into human environments and having to interact with them and deal with things that are part of our culture and understand and evolve through them." "The great thing is you can have the next generation of apes who have grown up within the paradise they find [at the end of the first film]. You can have a new generation evolve who have inherited the genes, and they're the ones that are going into battle; they are the ones displaying real fear as young soldiers when they're going into battle. Think 'Full Metal Jacket'... that kind of urban environment not dissimilar to Western forces going into Baghdad. Remember when the soldiers were finding gold telephones in Hussein's home? It would be the same way that the apes would understand our species through what we've created - whether it be TV or cooking or whatever it may be." "There's so much we can do. Whereas the story of the first film plays out as a fairy tale, the next film will play out as a Shakespearean sci-fi drama where you'll have Caesar as the leader of this revolution, but Koba would be the one leading his own troops wanting to wipe out humans in a genocide. But Caesar is more conflicted, and maybe Caesar needs Koba's assistance in terms of the conflict. And Maurice is his advisor and he's telling him to combine forces. Caesar needs the allegiance of the two, although he doesn't believe in what Koba believes in, which is complete genocide." "You could always portray the human face through that of a resistance leader or the guy who is trying to find a cure for the virus [that's killing humans]. Maybe it's a little bit like 12 Monkeys, where every human has gone underground to avoid the virus, and when they come up to the surface they're wearing gas masks. In a way, that would de-humanize them and would make us really follow the apes. That's what interests me. This shouldn't be apes as our enemy, this should be about the idea of a whole new civilization coming into being. With the beauty of modern cinema, we, the audience, have an opportunity to witness that."
In April 2012, Fox's Tom Rothman announced that Rupert Wyatt and Andy Serkis were committed to a sequel, which "will be a summer '14 movie." "We've got to have a great script. Because now, having made that good a movie, we better make the next one better." "I think one of the big questions they're wrestling with now, which is kind of the fun, is how far forward do we skip? When does it start? Does it start the next day? The next year? Does it start in 10 years? Does it start in 50 years?" 
In May 2012, Scott Z. Burns (writer of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion) took over from Silver & Jaffa as scriptwriter for the sequel. Soon after, it was announced that the sequel would be titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with a provisional release date of May 23, 2014.
Setting & Continuity
While there are plenty of names and some dialogue borrowed from the original Planet of the Apes pentalogy, the question of whether or not Rise of the Planet of the Apes ties directly into these films has not been definitively answered. Writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and director Rupert Wyatt gave a number of somewhat contradictory interpretations of the timeline involved, although the official website for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes placed the events of Rise between 2008 (Caesar's birth) and 2016 (the Ape Rebellion).
- See Planet of the Apes - Chernin Entertainment for a complete exploration of the date setting for the Chernin Entertainment film trilogy and possible connections to other Planet of the Apes film continuities.
- Writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa credit their son Joe with the idea of the "supplicating gesture" Caesar and the other apes use to establish authority.
- Charlie Fletcher, a writer friend of Silver and Jaffa, came up with the idea of Caesar riding on horseback, which was similar from the original where George Taylor saw a gorilla on horseback during the hunt.
- Original Apes star Charlton Heston is seen briefly in a clip from The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965), watched on television by Rodney.
- Caesar is seen assembling a toy model of the Statue of Liberty in his attic, in reference to the iconic climax of the first movie.
- Other references to the original pentalogy center around Dodge Landon, such as repeating Taylor's cries of "It's a madhouse!" and "Take your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!", or hosing down Caesar in his cage just as Julius did to Taylor.
- The cafe in the Gen-Sys Laboratories lobby is named 'Nova', according to director Rupert Wyatt and visitors to the set, in reference to Linda Harrison's character Nova. However, the name did not ultimately appear onscreen.
- The San Bruno Primate Shelter was based on the Black Beauty Ranch in Athens, Texas, where famous chimp test subject Nim Chimpsky spent his final years. The Primate Shelter was also based on the human cages from the original film.
- Director Rupert Wyatt was given a Proggy Award for Progress by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) "for recognizing that real great apes don't belong on production sets".
- Concept art for a different ending to the film was supplied by artist Brian Cunningham, who later revealed, "That image is from a proposed end sequence that was cut from 'Rise Of The Apes'.[sic] In that shot Caesar is going up the staircase inside a large building... cut to... a second image we see an older tattooed Caesar looking out from twisted metal... pull back to reveal he's observing Manhattan on fire from the back of a badly damaged Statue of Liberty..... a nod to the Charlton Heston scene from the original." This ending would have been significantly different from the finished movie, in that it would take place in a different city, it would appear to show a different cause of the downfall of humanity, and it would take Caesar up to maturity without the events seen in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
- Throughout the movie, a major plot line is the search for a cure for Alzheimer's disease. This is believed to be a reference and tribute to Charlton Heston, who in real life suffered from Alzheimer's before his death.
- Caesar was based on Nim Chimpsky, for his ability to sign, his red shirt and black pants, and his appearance was somewhat like Nim's, while actor Andy Serkis based his behaivor on the "humanzee" Oliver.
- Rise was the first Planet of the Apes film since the 1968 original to be nominated for an Academy Award.
- During the Apes vs. the Humans battle, a Wilhelm Scream can be heard.
- The film was originally going to be released on June 24, 2011, but pushed back to November 23, 2011, and finally pushed to August 5, 2011.
- at the
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes Concept Art
- First location pictures from Rise of the Apes
- Outdoor green-screen set from Rise of the Apes
- Pictures from the set of Rise of the Apes
- Rise of the Apes release date moves from June 24 to November 23 2011
- Interview with Rise of the Planet of the Apes Director Rupert Wyatt
- /Film Visits The Set of 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (August 18, 2010), by Peter Sciretta - /Film (April 14, 2011)
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Rise of the Planet of the Apes Writers Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa , by Zaki Hasan - Zaki's Corner (August 12, 2011)
- Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver commentary - Rise of the Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray edition (2011)
- "I'm not remaking 'Conquest of The Planet of the Apes'!", by Devin Faraci - Chud (December 1 2008)
- Scott Frank escapes The Planet of the Apes, by Devin Faraci - Chud (January 7 2010)
- Fox’s Planet of the Apes Reboot of the Reboot Is Back On, by Claude Brodesser-Akner - Vulture (January 22 2010)
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes Q & A Podcast - The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith (December 13, 2011)
- Director Rupert Wyatt on Organizing the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, by Max Evry - ComingSoon.net (August 4, 2011)
- Exclusive: Huge Planet of the Apes prequel story details!, by Devin Faraci - Chud (March 12 2010)
- IGN Visit the Planet of the Apes, by Scott Collura - IGN Movies (April 14, 2011)
- PLANET OF THE APES Prequel RISE OF THE APES Gets Released June 24th, 2011, by Ramses Flores - Collider.com (May 6th, 2010)
- How Spider-Man lost the lead role in 'Rise Of The Apes' to the Green Goblin, by Drew McWeeny - HitFix (May 21, 2010)
- Shia LaBeouf: Hollywood's Last Bad Boy, by Aaron Gell - Details (August 2011)
- The Great Escape, by Dan Jolin - Empire Magazine (August 2011)
- IMDb Boards: Rise of the Apes
- Sci Fi Magazine (August 2011)
- Apes Director Ruled Out Using Real Primates - Total Film Magazine (20 May 2011)
- ‘Rise of the Apes’ Proves CGI Can Replace Animals In Film, by Michael dEstries - Ecorazzi (April 14 2011)
- James Franco On-Set Interview, by Germain Lussier - Collider.com (April 14th, 2011)
- Playboy Interview: James Franco, by Stephen Rebello - Playboy (July 11, 2011)
- Fox Shuffles 'Rise of the Apes' Release Date Again, by Chris McKittrick - Movie Buzzers (23 March 2011)
- Director Rupert Wyatt on the Film, Its Themes & The Sequel, by Ed Gross - ComicBookMovie.com (August 5, 2011)
- Rupert Wyatt Discusses Sequel Possibilities!, by Nordling - 'Ain't It Cool' News (August 8, 2011)
- Planet Of The Apes Sequel Rising In Summer 2014, by Eric Ditzian and Josh Horowitz - MTV News (April 27 2012)
- 'Contagion' Writer Tapped to Pen 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' sequel, by Borys Kit - The Hollywood Reporter (May 15 2012)
- Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Sequel Gets Title, 2014 Release Date, by Sean O'Connell - Cinema Blend (May 31 2012)
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray edition
- 'Apes' Director Earns PETA Award, by Jennifer O'Connor - PETA (1 August 2011)
- EXCLUSIVE: See the Secret Ending to RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES in Concept Art by Brian Cunningham, by Maurice Mitchell - Film Sketchr (November 13, 2014)