The other day we got a look at some very brief footage from the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and the reaction to just five seconds of the movie was overwhelmingly positive.

Today, Hobbit director Peter Jackson’s effects company, WETA Workshop, is hosting a live chat event, featuring more extensive looks at the company’s work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and you can watch the whole event right here!

In this prequel film, James Franco plays Will Rodman, a cutting-edge scientist whose research into genetic engineering as a cure for Alzheimer’s disease leads to an ape named Caesar gaining advanced intelligence, which ultimately leads to humanity’s downfall and the titular rise of a simian-controlled world.

The brief clip released online gave us a fleeting look at actor Andy Serkis’ visually spectacular transformation into Caesar (see header image above). Serkis also provided the motion-capture performance for Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (another WETA project), and it seeems like the mix of cutting-edge visual technology and a strong performance from Serkis could combine to make Caesar one of the truly great CGI characters in film.

In fact, considering that Caesar is essentially a real-life animal (unlike more fantastical creatures found in films like LOTR, Avatar and King Kong), it’s fair to say that Caesar has the potential to be the first CGI movie character that fully bridges the gap between reality and artificiality, which has plagued many a Robert Zemeckis motion-capture movie (see:  The Polar Express).

Below is the portal for viewing WETA’s live chat event, which kicks off at 5:30EST/2:30PST today:

Watch live streaming video from apeswillrise at livestream.com

Be sure to check back soon! There will be more Rise of the Planet of the Apes material coming in the next 24 hours that you don’t want to miss out on, including the following:

  • A :15 second clip from the film (going live @ 6pm EST/3pm PST)
  • Excerpt clips from the live chat event (later this evening)
  • A teaser trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (available late tonight / early tomorrow morning)

This film has the potential to be a late summer blockbuster hit, if the footage that’s been unveiled is any indication. Check it out now, so that you’re already in the know by time the film hits the pop culture radar. After all, arming you movie buffs with what you need to stump your friends is basically what we do here at Screen Rant! 😉

Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be in theaters on August 5th. Let us know if you enjoyed the WETA Live Chat and if you’d want us to do more events like this in the future.

For updates on when the new clips and trailer appear online, follow us on  Twitter or Facebook for the latest.

Source: WETA Workshop