Things have been busy of late with respect to Fox's Planet of the Apes prequel, which was recently renamed Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Not only is the film now slated to hit theaters this summer, but an actual trailer for the sci-fi adventure should be released in the near future (possibly before the month is out).
The Apes prequel is a departure from its predecessors, in the sense that it uses motion-capture technology to create the titular simians - courtesy of Peter Jackson's Weta Digital - as opposed to old-fashioned tools like makeup and prosthetics.
Even Tim Burton's generally-maligned Planet of the Apes "re-imagining" relied on practical, rather than digital, effects to create its non-human primate characters. However, seeing as Weta utilized the same technology used in Avatar to create the CGI creatures in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there's been good reason to think that the Apes prequel could trump the previous films by actually creating photo-realistic talking apes.
Now a short clip has been released (via Facebook) that offers a first look at Weta's F/X work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But do the results look up to scratch?
Find out by watching the video below:
The results look quite good to me, based off those few seconds of footage. That might not end up being the case when the CGI apes do more than just sit there and brood in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but the facial structure, fur design, and slight humanistic qualities of the creature shown here - is this Caesar (Andy Serkis)? - all seem spot-on so far.
We've certainly come a long way since the 1968 film adaptation of Planet of the Apes, which featured simians who - among other things - could never quite move their mouths properly (due to the restrictive nature of the ape makeup). While the Apes prequel could easily be technically superior to that original movie, we'll have to wait and see if its thematic qualities are an improvement as well.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars James Franco as a driven scientist whose genetic experiments on the primate Caesar (Serkis) have unforeseen consequences which affect the very future of humankind. It will arrive in U.S. theaters this summer on August 5th.
How does this early clip from Rise of the Planet of the Apes look to you?