Just when you thought the simian revolution in the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes couldn't get any nastier ... it does.
Director Rupert Wyatt and star Andy Serkis (who plays ape leader Caesar through motion capture) were on hand at Fox's Comic-Con presentation on Thursday to show off footage from the first new Apes film in a decade, which opens on Aug. 5. The finale of the panel was a montage of scenes from the movie's climactic uprising, and if you think you've seen it already in the film's trailers, there's much, much more.
While we'll reserve judgment on whether the creation of wholly CG apes pays off, we have to admit that scenes of apes smashing their way through office buildings, leaping onto cars and running savagely through the streets of San Francisco had an undeniably eerie power.
Same with the close-up character work on Caesar, whose facial expressions and body movements are unsettlingly realistic. Wyatt said it was clearly a risk to fashion a sentient major character digitally, while host Damon Lindelof joked that Caesar was the "Che Guevara of the apes."
As for Serkis, he was asked by an audience member why he chose to play a digital character again, and an ape no less, after doing King Kong for Peter Jackson in 2005 and, of course, Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Serkis replied, "It's never bothered me to not be on screen myself, since as an actor I'm all about transformation," although he added that he never consciously sought to become the king of motion capture, but that "motion capture came to me."
Two more scenes were revealed as well: one in which Caesar defends the father (John Lithgow) of James Franco's scientist character from an angry neighbor, and a second one in which the watchful chimp begins assembling his army in an animal enclosure to which he's been consigned.
Could Rise of the Planet of the Apes bring this franchise back to its former glory? We'll find out in two weeks!
(Video via fandango)