James Franco Discusses ‘Rise of the Apes’

Published 4 years ago by

James Franco Rise of the Apes James Franco Discusses Rise of the Apes

Before they became those “damn dirty apes,” they were just regular apes in a lab somewhere. At least that’s the premise of the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel film Rise of the Apes, starring James Franco and a slew of other Hollywood stars.

Director Rupert Wyatt’s addition to the venerable Apes franchise takes place prior to the ape uprising and focuses on a scientist (played by Franco) who is experimenting on the chimpanzee Caesar (played by motion-capture expert Andy Serkis) in order to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Caesar gets smarter from the experiments and, well, one thing leads to another  and the apes take over the planet.

One would think an actor like Franco, whose work ranges from blockbuster movies like Spider-Man to a run on the daytime soap opera General Hospital, would have jumped at the opportunity to join Rise of the Apes, but in a recent interview with NBC’s PopcornBiz blog Franco said he wasn’t sure at first.

Talking about his decision to join the cast, Franco said:

“I saw ‘127 Hours‘ as an opportunity to have an unusual acting experience, and I honestly felt the same way about ‘Planet of the Apes’ where when I first heard about it I thought “Well, hmm, I don’t know. Those masks have cult value, but…’ And then I found out, ‘Oh, that that’s not how they’re doing it,’ that it’s actually all of Peter Jackson’s Weta people doing CG and that I’ll be working with Andy Serkis who played Gollum. I was such a big fan of those movies and I am interested in new ways of performing and new ways of filmmaking so I thought why not?”

Franco went on to praise Andy Serkis’ impressive motion-capture work saying:

“There’s no way we would ever get scenes that we did with a real chimpanzee. Because Andy’s so good at that behavior, it’s like acting opposite a real chimpanzee with great acting instincts. It was cool, it was new-new for me.”

With a solid cast, which includes Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, and Harry Potter‘s Tom Felton, Rise of the Apes isn’t lacking in the acting department. Plus, as Franco mentioned, they are working with Weta technology for the CG, so you know that will be top of the line as well.

It’s a good thing too, because Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes definitely rubbed a lot of critics (myself included) the wrong way. Then again, Burton’s Apes film was quite successful at the box office.

Rise of the Apes is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24th, 2011.

Source: PopcornBiz

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  1. Oww so it’s James Franco’s fault that the apes took over..finally someone to blame(it’s better than blaming the show, I know I know what about Tim Burton
    But he dosnt count he’s like that p.e teacher who touched you in school..
    It just Never Happened)

    Personally I’m disapointed that Mr franco created the apes uprising
    I cant wait to watch this in the cinema I’m gonna have my Tut Tut finger ready to point & wave at the screen

  2. CGI apes? I’m not too excited about that. On the other hand, the costumed apes in previous movies didn’t exactly look amazing either, so this could be better..

  3. I actually rode my bike right through the set and past the table racked with head-mounted cameras (or some such thing) one day — they filmed in the park outside our front window. Repainted my kid’s playground for a shot, too. Looks lovely now!

  4. I thought the original ape movies were pretty good, costumes and all.

    Im hoping the CGI doesnt ruin it, and sorta feeling good about Franco being in it. I didnt know he could act based on the Spiderman movies but recently saw him in a couple other films and didnt even recognize him at first.

    • I’m scared about the CGI too.. CGI, however good it is, just doesn’t compare to the real thing. Gollum, and the creatures in Avatar were good, but they still looked fake. So I’m not too hopeful here..

  5. I think it will be fine especially with weta at the helm, and Franco, I like him as an actor. Flyboys is one of my favorite movies of him. Think this will be good.

  6. Cool beans

  7. Most people are still of the opinion that the uncanny valley hasn’t been crossed sufficiently to put this technology so upfront as has been done in recent years. Still they continue to make improvements. So at some point I figure they will put the DCG in and people won’t be able to tell the difference. One thing can be said for the effects though and that’s they beat most of the stuff done in the 1950′s by a wide margin. Allot of that today is simply laughable. So from a certain point of view you should feel lucky. The effects of today have broadened what kind and how far the stories can go and still be entertaining…

    • I agree that the technology has become amazing now. I follow it quite closely. But, for instance, Master Yoda in the original trilogy looked much better than in the new ones. They probably couldn’t have made him jump around with a light saber back then, but still, he looked better.
      Guess both have their advantages and disadvantages. But it’s fantasy, so I have no problem with the CGI.. As long as the end result is good..