Planet of the Apes/Caesar spin-off (or sequel? reboot? remake?)
#1
Boomstick Wrote:Apparently FOX has got someone working on a script for a Apes movie based on the later films that were set in current times and featured Caesar, the freedom fighting ape, or whatever he was.

Why on earth they'd want to do a remake of the least interesting films in the series is beyond me. I think they should do a CG animation movie that's faithful to the book, that'd really be something worth seeing.

Honestly, I think the Rod Serling script is better than the book, and the 60's movie's makeup is still pretty decent. The mouths don't move as fluidly as they do in the Burton remake, and the apes don't have prehensile toes, but really I still think it holds up just fine. As I recall, the protagonist of the book was a French journalist, Ulysse Merou, and he didn't have the world-weary disgust of mankind that Heston's Taylor did. Plus, the apes didn't speak English, so we never got hear what they were saying until Merou finally learned their language. Plus they rerally were on a different planet, so the anti-nuke message was watered down significantly.

I always thought those final two movies were less interesting mainly because of the extremely limited budgets. The ideas, and the "worlds" in which they were set were fascinating traditional sci-fi worlds - one a near future where apes became household pets after a virus wipes out dogs and cats, and they gradually become slave labor instead of beloved pets. And the final one was a neat post-apocalyptic struggle for survival, just made a bit more interesting with some of the surivors being apes.
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#2
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#3
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#4
Boomstick Wrote:The Superman movies got progressively cheaper and of lower quality, as did the Robocop ones. Presumably things like DVD sales and cable stations paying big bucks to air movies on TV have helped drive the current trend, which is to throw even more money at your sequels, rather than less.

I suppose with built-in audiences, they're more forgiving so the return on investment is substantially higher, even if the quality is suffering. I'm not certain of the business model in this regard.
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#5
RobRoy Wrote:But yeah, unfortunately, the series, instead of receiving larger budgets, had to do more and more with less and less. I’m not certain why the studio, APJAC, made this decision, but I would guess they were running into financial difficulties.

There was a documentary about the movie series, some years back, either on AMC or TCM. Basically, pre-Godfather, it was always assumed that sequels would not do as well as the originals. Things like Bond didn't count, since each one was on its own a best-selling novel. But things that were series - like the Gidget movies, or Beach Blanket Bingo movies, were all lower-budget. And when Heston wouldn't commit to any sequels (he finally relented to appearing for 5 minutes if they promised to kill him off at the beginning; they compromised, and killed him off at the end) each one had half the budget of the previous one.

At any rate, SciFi Wire has some scoop on this.

I remember that animated series - I was getting too old for cartoons, or thought I was anyway, but as I recall, it was certainly adequate.

That documentary was extremely cool, and had a wonderful rarity: a scene that Heston paid for out of his own pocket, a variation on the final scene with Zaius in the cave, being confronted by Taylor. It's from a much earlier version of the script, and Heston arranged it to show studio execs that people playing talking apes could still be dramatic. Edward G. Robinson plays Zaius, James Brolin plays Cornelius, and Linda Harrison (Nova) plays Zira! The make-up is very subdued though, and they look more like, say, Neanderthals than actual apes.
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#6
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It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#7
RobRoy Wrote:I think I may have seen that same documentary! The scene you’re describing sounds familiar to me. I wonder if it’s part of the extras on the DVD set? I haven’t picked them up yet, although they are on my list.

I believe it's on the special edition two-disc DVD of Planet of the Apes that came out several years ago. I don't think it's on the cheapest box set that's generally in stores.

There was also a mega-set a few years ago with everything Apes related in it-- all the movies, and tv shows.
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#8
Boomstick Wrote:I believe it's on the special edition two-disc DVD of Planet of the Apes that came out several years ago. I don't think it's on the cheapest box set that's generally in stores.

There was also a mega-set a few years ago with everything Apes related in it-- all the movies, and tv shows.

So maybe I should pick it up one movie at a time. I'll have to look into the cost of the things.
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#9
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#10
A teeny postscript from SciFi Wire: "Production Weekly is reporting that the Planet of the Apes prequel movie Caesar has opened production offices at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, Canada, near Vancouver; the film is scheduled to start shooting mid-July."
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#11
august Wrote:A teeny postscript from SciFi Wire: "Production Weekly is reporting that the Planet of the Apes prequel movie Caesar has opened production offices at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, Canada, near Vancouver; the film is scheduled to start shooting mid-July."

Very interesting.

I'm still looking forward to The A-Team!
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#12
august Wrote:A teeny postscript from SciFi Wire: "Production Weekly is reporting that the Planet of the Apes prequel movie Caesar has opened production offices at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, Canada, near Vancouver; the film is scheduled to start shooting mid-July."

This is still such an oddball one for me. I don't know what would possess them to do a Caesar movie. The material just screams for an animated feature, to my mind. May be that it's significantly cheaper to go this route if things don't work out.
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#13
Well, the key is that you can do an animated movie only if you're in the business of making animated films (and in this day and time, that would by definition be a direct-to-dvd feature, even if it could also be sold to the Cartoon Network.) If you're a live-action movie producer, and you find yourself with the rights to a recognizable franchise brand-name, then you want to do a live action movie. :laugh:

So I think they basically just want to make $$ off of the Planet of the Apes name. Burton's remake doesn't really lend itself easily to a sequel, plus I bet they don't have rights to anything he created in his script - all they have is the rights to the old material. They can't remake "Beneath" or "Escape," since the remake went in a different direction, so that leaves the last two, and this sounds like a remake, or "re-imagining" of them.

And while they weren't huge hits, they've been flourishing in reruns for 35 years - I actually watched a good bit of "Battle" just a couple of weeks ago, and was struck by how good it still managed to be given its low budget. i.e. it was fairly lame... but the director and cinematographer shot it (in 2-3 takes for each scene probably) as if they were doing a blockbuster, and McDowell tried just as hard as if he were still in Cleopatra or Lassie Come Home or How Green Was My Valley. The music by Leonard Rosenman was especially good, and it brought back memories of middle school, holding a bulky old-fashioned tape recorder up to the tv when it aired on CBS in the 70's, so that I could "record" the soundtrack. Interestingly, he also did Star Trek IV, and Bakshi's LotR movie, and was a multiple Oscar and Emmy winner for other films.

At any rate, I imagine this is just an excuse to do a film about sentient apes in a post-apocalyptic setting, involving mutants and (possibly) primitive humans, and capitalize on the "Apes" name so this is what they've got. (As opposed to some artistic or intellectual desire to continue the saga of Milo/Caesar.) Which I think is a decent setting, ala Jack Kirby's Kamandi, or Andre Norton's Star Man's Son, or even Cleopatra 2525!
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#14
I think they've overlooked other possibilities, but I'm not about to give away any 'intellectual property' here! :bounce: Or does FOX already own all ideas relating to anything they own, even though it's only in my head?
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#15
Anyone mind if we split this Apes discussion into its own thread? Smile

As for that ownership thing, that's been the big contention in fan fiction for decades now. Usually, companies never enforce their ownership, since if someone isn't making any profit from something, they're basically giving the property free publicity. The instant anyone makes a dime from something, the lawyers come running. There are some authors who are quite belligerent about being opposed to fan fiction, since they feel their creations are being watered down, and some unsuspecting reader might mistake the inferior material for the real thing. But I don't think any name-brand authors really care.
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#16
august Wrote:But I don't think any name-brand authors really care.
Nor screenwriters, I'd wager. For the amount of money that's involved they're far better off moving on and writing & selling another script than worrying about the quality of fan fiction that's floating around on the internet.

Back to the cost of a new Apes feature, the Caesar angle is probably the cheapest, at least if it follows the trend of the originals. It allows for apes in a contemporary setting, which potentially cuts down on the cost of building an Ape world.

As I've said I'm confused by their approach here, but I guess we should be happy that they're at least forgoing the obvious kind of reboot-- we don't need another remake of the book and/or the Heston film (unless it's done right, then, absolutely!). :laugh:
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#17
The producers are admitting that this is essentially a variation on "Conquest" now, as the cast comes together. SciFi Wire reports that Andy Serkis will play Caesar, but entirely via cgi motion-capture.

Quote: Serkis....played the title role in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong. Jeez, the guy plays an ape once and he's already getting typecast. :laugh:

..... the motion-capture effects for the movie are being handled by Jackson's Weta Digital company, it makes sense that they'd call on their old pal Serkis and once again make a computer program out of him.

Rise of the Apes, which is a very loose retelling of the fourth entry in the original series—1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes—follows the story of a human scientist whose genetic experiments result in the creation of the superintelligent Caesar, who eventually becomes the linchpin for an ape revolution....

Serkis joins a pretty decent cast that includes James Franco (Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies) as the scientist, Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and John Lithgow (Dexter). The film is being directed by Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and is on the fast track for release on June 24, 2011. :eek:

Posts with links to articles about the release date and Franco's casting that I missed entirely are here and here.
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#18
Who is playing the scientist? Franco? Lithgow? Pinto?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#19
:lol: See above, and below:

Quote:James Franco (Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies) as the scientist

Interesting line-up - Lithgow, Franco, Pinto...and Zeppo. Wink

Or perhaps as Fred Sanford once referred to "the Puerto Rican Marx Bros. - Julio, Chico ... and mafongo!"
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#20
Can't you just picture Franco in the classic ape make-up, though?

I'm getting a little more excited about this one. As they say, "it's so crazy it just might work!"
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