Mark Wahlberg is playfully reflecting on some painful memories working with his chimp co-stars on director Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes reboot in 2001. The film series, of course, originated in 1968 with Planet of the Apes, which starred Charlton Heston as George Taylor, an American astronaut who returns to Earth to find it dominated by an advanced primate species. Also starring Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira, Planet of the Apes spawned four sequels (as well as a TV series), concluding with Battle for the Planet of the Apes in 1973.
Nearly three decades had passed before Burton was hired to helm the Planet of the Apes reboot, which brought aboard Wahlberg as the film's main astronaut, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter as evolved chimpanzees, and Paul Giamatti as a wise orangutan. The film came up in conversation with Wahlberg in an interview for Transformers: The Last Knight on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show, because War for the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis was also in attendance (along with his Apes co-star Woody Harrelson, Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland and actress Sienna Miller).
Real primates were used in the making of the Planet of the Apes reboot, Wahlberg says, and as it turns out, they weren't the most pleasant co-stars in the world:
“The monkeys, no, they were the worst ... They wanted us to get acclimated with the chimps, and anytime I would go near (co-star Helena Bonham Carter), the chimps would start attacking me. They’d start like trying to punch me in the nuts, like my 5-year-old-son. Like really bad, like nonstop. … The chimps were constantly trying to attack me.”
Sadly, the Planet of the Apes reboot didn't live up to expectations at the box office, and was Wahlberg's first and last turn in the franchise. Despite the fact that the movie series didn't move on with Wahlberg, he has great memories from the project (“It was an amazing experience working with Tim,” he says), and he was thrilled that the newest reboot — which kicked off with director Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 — found its footing. After Wahlberg says, "I think we kinda set the franchise back a little bit," he notes that Wyatt and Serkis “kind of revived it again, which was great, because it was obviously a big intellectual property.”
It's fun to hear stories about the 2001 reboot from a Wahlberg, even they conjured up some painful memories for the actor. And while he didn't say it specifically, the reason why he hasn't worked with any animal co-stars since Planet of the Apes (not counting Ted, of course) has suddenly become perfectly clear.
Source: The Graham Norton Show
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017