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Comic-Con Movies 2011: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Just two weeks before his film opens, director Rupert Wyatt was on hand in Hall H Thursday evening during the 20th Century Fox panel to show a great deal of supposedly great footage from Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Joined by Andy Serkis, who plays the ape Caesar in the film, Wyatt introduced fans to a number of scenes previously unseen, and even those underwhelmed by the film's trailer seemed to think the film has some promise. As the film has probably been completed, perhaps the visual effects done by the WETA team behind The Lord of the Rings had a chance to polish off its primates a little more so than in the trailer.

The film, a prequel to the famous 1968 film (as well as its 2001 remake and however many unheralded sequels), outlines how a scientist's (James Franco, who was not present at the panel) genetic engineering experiments ultimately lead to advanced intelligence in apes and a war between species. One of the scenes unveiled at the panel showed Caesar, the lead ape, attempt to develop a language among the apes. Another showed Caesar attacking a human who threatened another.

Much of the panel focused on the motion-capture technology in the film, something Andy Serkis has become an expert in after playing Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the titular character in King Kong and Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin, which appears at the Con tomorrow. Serkis admitted he never deliberately sought out mo-cap work before "LOTR," but he's become enamored with the technology and what it means for actors. Wyatt said the goal of the film was to not have to use live apes. He said it was an expensive choice, but he received a great deal of support for it and was happy to make it.


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