Films

20 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Rebooted Planet of the Apes Movies

Unlike everyone else on Earth (or so they claim), there's nothing we like more than blowing our own trumpet. Thus, it's with an ear-to-ear grin we tell you we've been nominated for Magazine Cover of the Year at the PPA awards. We'll stop short of calling it 'the Oscars of the magazine industry', but we won't stop short of asking you to take a look at the cover, here, and giving it a vote. It takes, literally, three clicks and if we win it'll make our Art Director happier than a slinky on an escalator.

Oh, and to sugar-coat the deal we've also compiled this lovely list of 20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Rebooted Planet of The Apes Movies. Quid pro quo?

(Images: Rex) 

  • 20 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Rebooted Planet of the Apes Movies

    1.

    Almost all motion capture shots for the apes in Rise were done indoors, which made the actors in the motion capture suits horribly sweaty. Andy Serkis, who played Caesar in both films (pictured on horse, right) said that those actors felt embarrassed to even approach other members of the cast and crew after a few days of shooting. The lion's share of motion capture shots for Dawn, therefore, were done outside. 

    You can watch our video interview with Andy Serkis here.

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    2.

    In Rise, Caesar is seen completing a DIY model of the Statue Of Liberty, in a lovely nod to the incredible ending of the 1968 original. What's less well known is that Rise director Rupert Wyatt had plans to reference the statue in a far greater manner, as shown in the concept art here. Wyatt considered showing Caesar climbing the staircase inside of the Statue of Liberty and looking out at New York City ablaze. 

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    3.

    In one scene in Rise Caesar poses like Auguste Rodin's The Thinker indicating his development from an ape to a being that can philosophise and act like a human. 

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    4.

    In Rise, Caesar's speaking voice was mixed by sound designer Chuck Michael, who mixed the sounds of fully grown male chimp vocalisations with Andy Serkis' voice.

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    5.

    Jospeh Stalin's nickname was Koba. He insisted his peers call him it after the Robin Hood-like protagonist of the novel The Patricide by Alexander Kazbegi; he continued to use this pseudonym as a revolutionary. The name was given to Koba (pictured) in Dawn, who was similarly aggressive and experienced a similar route to power. 

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    6.

    Speaking of Koba, Rise is the first movie in the entire franchise to feature bonobos, the family of ape that Koba falls into. This species was assumed until very recently to be a subspecies of chimp, explaining its absence in previous films.

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    7.

    Despite having a video tape cameo in Dawn, James Franco had no involvement nor knowledge of his cameo. The video is stock footage from Rise. "It was from Rise, but not actually used in Rise." Dawn director Matt Reeves told CinemaBlend. "We actually went looking through that footage, and that moment where the hug happens – which I thought was quite touching – was actually not used. And I thought that this was such a cool thing, to go back and see something that wasn’t used in Rise, and use it in this film. But that’s a new version of young Caesar... That’s a new shot for this new film. But it’s Franco’s performance from another film. That was a really neat thing to be able to do."

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    8.

    Caesar uses a bundle of sticks to explain to Maurice how an ape alone is weak but apes together are strong. The bundle of sticks, or fasces (pictured, bottom), was a symbol of authority in ancient Rome, the origin of Caesar's name. Caesar's charisma is also reminiscent of Benito Mussolini, who adopted the fasces as the symbol of his Italian Fascist party. The fasces is also used in several symbols in the architecture of the American White House and is the subject of the Aesop fable The Bundle of Sticks about a father demonstrating to his sons how they should work together. It's also in the National Guard Bureau insignia

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    9.

    At one stage Charlton Heston is seen on the TV in Rise, playing the part of Michelangelo from the 1965 movie The Agony and the Ecstasy. Heston was, of course, the star of the very first Apes movie. It was his fifth "appearance" in the Planet of the Apes franchise. 

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    10.

    In Dawn, the opening montage uses real footage from the London riots in 2011. One officer in full riot gear has 'MP HT' markings on their helmet, identifying them as a Metropolitan Police officer from the Tower Hamlets division. You can see the montage here.

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    Coverstar

    Ceaser became an even bigger sapian upon the release of the movies when he appeared on the cover of Shortlist looking sharper than a butcher's knife. The cover has recently been nominated for a PPA Award (essentially the Oscars of magazines) for Best Cover. 

    You can vote for the cover to win here. And you really should. 

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    11.

    Originally it was to be Will Rodman's wife, rather than his father, who had Alzheimer's.

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    12.

    Brandon Routh auditioned to play Dodge Landon.

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    13.

    Rise cost $93 million while Dawn carried a $170 million price tag. The extra spend on Dawn was worth it given that Rise ended its run with a gross of $481,801,049 worldwide and Dawn hit $708,835,589.  That makes Dawn more profitable by about $150,000,000. Both were considered massive commercial successes with Rise also being released in the difficult month of August. 

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    14.

    Shia LaBeouf was considered to play Will Rodman.

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    15.

    Kathryn Bigelow (right) and Robert Rodriguez were considered to direct Rise while Guillermo Del Toro (left) and 28 Days Later's Juan Carlos Fresnadillo were in contention to steer Dawn

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    16.

    According to Rise writer Rick Jaffa, the codename of the first experimental virus was to be RT-112, as a reference to the original 1968 Planet of the Apes having a running time (RT) of 112 minutes. They later settled for ALZ-112. 

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    17.

    Dawn was the first Planet of the Apes movie to have the F-word, spoken by Dreyfus near the end.

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    18.

    Dawn's Gary Oldman (bottom) was considered for the role of General Thade (top) in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, 2001. Tim Roth got the part after Oldman couldn't agree a deal. 

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    19.

    Karin Konoval, who plays Bornean orangutan Maurice in both movies, also cameos as the court clerk whom Will briefly argues with about his appeal in Rise. Konoval wore extra 10 pound weights on each arm during motion capture sequences to sell the weight of Maurice.

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    17.

    A third Apes movie called War Of The Planet Of The Apes is set for release in July, 2017, according to numerous film sites. Set some five years after the last movie, Dawn director Matt Reeves (pictured) is said to be returning to the hot seat with Rise and Dawn writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver dusting down their pens. 

    You can watch our interview with Reeves here.

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