Rise of the Apes

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movie news. It will not try to sew your face to someone else’s butt. It will, however, make your hind quarters sore. So give yourself over to it — it will be gentle, at first. Fox’s upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel, previously titled Rise of the Apes, has been retitled to give it that ole’ familiar ring. It will now be called Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which should hold until they can figure out a less concise way to title it. Either way, it’s got James Franco, so I’m seeing it.

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When news broke that the upcoming James Franco doing battle with super-smart monkeys movie Rise of the Apes was being bumped up from a Thanksgiving release to a release on August 5th, it was a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand it seemed like a fall movie being bumped up to a summer release meant the studio must see a lot of potential in it. On the other hand, with Rise of the Apes coming out on August 5th, I would now have to choose between seeing that or The Smurfs on that sweltering August weekend. You’ve heard of The Smurfs, right? The movie that had the most mind blowing trailer that we’ve ever seen? Well the good news is that Krom is not a cruel God, because he has seen to it that we shall have both our monkey fighting and our 80s nostalgia gone wrong. The cries of the people have been heard and Deadline Smurfville reports that The Smurfs has been bumped a week forward to July 29th. That’s just one day after my birthday, so I am going to choose to believe that Sony reads my news updates and has made this move as a present to me. All I can say is, thanks Sony, thanks a smurfing lot.

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When I first read the title Rise of the Apes I was hoping that it was going to be a big budget prequel of one of my favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 subjects of scrutiny 1987’s Time of the Apes. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have a direct connection. Rise of the Apes is going to be one of those humans versus talking apes movies made famous by the legendary Planet of the Apes though. This one seems to be set on modern day Earth and it tells the story of a science experiment gone wrong. In this movie James Franco plays a geneticist that accidentally creates a race of super intelligent monkeys who revolt against their human overlords and try to take over our society. It just sounds like something James Franco would do. Freida Pinto is also set to star, and Andy Serkis will be playing some sort of monkey character. And toss in a little Brian Cox and John Lithgow for good measure. None of this is new news though. The big development when it comes to this monkey movie is that Fox is moving up its release date. Originally it was scheduled to come out on Thanksgiving, but now it will join the end of summer blockbuster hopefuls with an August 5th release. I imagine that we should take this as good news. Moving a film from the fall to the summer must mean that somebody at the studio has watched a cut of this thing […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Fox has decided audiences might want a big slab of ape for Thanksgiving. This, of course, is correct. Plus, besides giving every household a delicious ape for its holiday meal, IGN reports that the studio will release Rise of the Apes in theaters on November 23rd. That’s a big shift. It was originally supposed to see a release in June. To save it from the super hero overcrowding, Fox has sent it home for the holidays. Taking its summer slot (on June 17th) is Mr. Popper’s Penquins which might do well as a family friendly film in the middle of the fanboy fare. The last shift is Now – the thriller featuring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried – is shifting from late September to October 28th. Apes now faces off against The Muppets (foolishly), Penguins will battle against The Green Lantern, and Now now hits theaters with Dibbuk Box.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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I have to assume that our simian friends attack the eyes first, and Planet of the Rise of the Apes promises to do the same at some point in the near future. The remake/sequel/prequel seems to be rolling along unhindered and just got its villain in the form of veteran actor Brian Cox. According to The Wrap: Hollywood, the actor has signed on as a man who keeps a sanctuary but mistreats all the animal inhabitants – meaning that Cox can finally add “Evil Ape Sanctuary Owner” to his list of roles. We’ll do the honorable thing and avoid the monkey-slapping jokes (because there will be plenty of time for them later) and instead simply report that the actor’s talent will be paired up with Andy Serkis, James Franco, Freida Pinto, and John Lithgow. A formidable cast, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an unnecessary remake/prequel to a decade’s old franchise that already got the remake treatment earlier in the decade.

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Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis might have one of the most unique and sought after talents in the world of film today. But it has nothing to do with his live-action persona. It’s all about his ability to be expressive with performance capture. With roles as Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Kong in King Kong, it’s no surprise that Fox has tapped him to play Caesar, the chimp who leads the simian revolt in Rise of the Apes.

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John Lithgow Frieda Pinto

HeatVision is reporting that John Lithgow and Freida Pinto have signed on to star in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Rise Of the Apes. The film is a prequel to Tim Burton’s misguided and deservedly maligned reboot with Mark Wahlberg from 2001. The only part of that movie that works is the practical makeup/suits for the ape design. Which is something they’re reportedly replacing with CGI for the prequel…

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James Franco is everywhere this week. First he joins the Summit Entertainment produced comedy Ricky Stanicky, and now he’s adding something quite big to his upcoming slate, Fox’s Planet of the Apes franchise reboot.

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Hopefully Fox will finally tell us what Soylent Green is, too.

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