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"You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!" Charlton Heston’s grim realisation of what the Planet Of The Apes really was will forever be one of cinema’s most enduring, iconic images.

The original Planet Of The Apes remains one of the most beloved and admired sci-fi films of all time, but just how did man surrender Earth to the primates? And how did those “damn dirty apes” become so intelligent?

These are the questions posed in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, the eagerly anticipated action-adventure origin story starring James Franco, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Freida Pinto. Andy Serkis, the king of motion-capture technology, plays Caesar, the ape who spearheads the simian uprising.

And you can see it for free thanks to ShortList. An exclusive screening of this much-anticipated blockbuster will take place on 11 August at the Apollo in London’s West End. Doors open at 6pm with the film starting at 6.30pm, and there will be a a chance to win a trip to San Francisco, plus a free bar. To download tickets, head to Showfilmfirst.com and enter the code ‘Planet’. Tickets are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

A new dawn rises

Set in modern-day San Francisco, Franco plays Will Rodman, a scientist working for a pharmaceutical corporation, conducting genetic research to restore damaged human brain tissue. Rodman is determined to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, which afflicts his father, Charles (John Lithgow).

However, just as a new drug, ALZ-112, looks set to make a breakthrough, Rodman is told to shut down his programme due to simian test subjects showing signs of aggression. Rodman, however, secretly overlooks the development of one promising orphaned chimpanzee, the gifted Caesar.

Due to exposure in the womb to ALZ-112, Caesar shows incredible intelligence. However, this is offset by startling levels of aggression. Rodman reluctantly decides to hand over Caesar to a sanctuary, run by Landon (Brian Cox).

And it’s at this prison-like ape compound where Caesar rallies his fellow primate inmates and begins an uprising against their human captors. And so begins the rise of the planet of the apes…

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is at cinemas nationwide from Thursday 11 August

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