Having been part of The Hunger Games franchise, Woody Harrelson steps into one of cinema’s most iconic stories with War for the Planet of the Apes. He plays the Colonel, the main antagonist of the film who leads a wide scale and seemingly final battle against the Apes.
“You could easily look at the Colonel as a bad guy,” said Harrelson, who starred earlier this year in Wilson. “But I kind of look at him as a guy who feels called upon to do something great and important in this uncertain world.”
The original Planet of the Apes films had its share of memorable performances (Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall), and the latest string of films has also carved out wonderful work from its ensemble (most notably John Lithgowin Rise of the Planet of the Apes and of course Andy Serkis as Caesar in the both Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). Hopefully War for the Planet of the Apes continues to carry the high level of storytelling as the previous installments.
Click on the media bar below to hear Harrelson talk about being a fan of the franchise.
Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray shelves today, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is an origin story detailing the circumstances surrounding the events that led to the first film in the series, PLANET OF THE APES. A winning combination of science-fiction and science-fact mixed with a cautionary tale involving genetic engineering, the film uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art motion-capture techniques to bring the villainous apes to life. Directed by RUPERT WYATT, the cast includes JAMES FRANCO, ANDY SERKIS, FREIDA PINTO, JOHN LITHGOW, BRIAN COX, TOM FELTON and TYLER LABINE.
SERKIS, whose portrayal of Gollum in PETER JACKSON’S LORD OF THE RINGS films set the standard for mo-cap performance, once again brings brilliance to the screen as Ceasar, the leader of the ape rebellion. During a recent press conference, SERKIS wanted to emphasize that digital mo-cap acting is not unlike traditional acting for the screen. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which exceeded expectations to take in over $175 million domestically over the summer, is headed to Blu-ray and DVD on December 13th (and December 7th internationally).
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment sent over the exact Blu-ray Special Features breakdown this morning, so here are the goods:
* Deleted Scenes: (“Alpha Gets Shot,” “Will’s Meeting with Lab Assistants,” “Will Discovers Caesar Has Solved Puzzles,” “Caesar Plays with Bicycle,” “Caesar Questions His Identity,” “Caesar Bites Off Neighbor’s Finger,” “Will Ignores the Risks of an Airborborne Mutated Virus,” “Rodney Gives Caesar a Cookie,” “Rocket Gets Hosed by Dodge,” “Caesar Destroys the Lab and Koba’s Attempted Revenge on Jacobs,” “Caesar Pushes Helicopter,” “Koba with Shotgun.”
* Featurettes: “Pre-vis for The Future,” “Capturing Caesar – Script to Screen,” “Studying the Genius of Andy Serkis,” “Multi-Angle: Rocket Cookie Scene,” “A New Generation of Apes,” “Breaking Motion Capture Boundaries,” “Breaking New Sound Barriers: The Music and Sound Design of The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
* Commentary: Two separate tracks, one with director Rupert Wyatt, and the second with writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
* Extra features: Ape Facts (Gorilla, Orangutan, Chimpanzee), Character Concept Art Gallery, Three Theatrical Trailers.
Click on the MEDIA BAR to hear James Franco (Neuroscientist Will Rodman) and Andy Serkis (Caesar) explain why they signed onto Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes continued its box-office domination, as it retained the top spot at the box-office. Critical acclaim propelled The Help to a strong opening, as it made $255 million. Unfortunately, fellow newcomer 30 Minutes or Lesshad a disappointing debut, as it collected just $13 million. Here’s the top 10:
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – The picture has already broken $100 million domestically ($104.9 million). $27.5 million
Rise director Rupert Wyatt explains why the original film, Planet of the Apes, was the Star Wars of its day:
5. 30 Minutes or Less – The comedy had a sub-par debut, as it made just $13 million.
6. Cowboys & Aliens – $7.6 million. To date, the picture has made $81.5 million domestically, which is a huge disappointment.
7. Captain America: The First Avenger – $7.1 million
8. Crazy, Stupid, Love – $6.93 million
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – $6.87 million
1o. The Change-Up – Green Lantern’s Ryan Reynolds stars in another summer misfire, as the picture has drummed up just $25.8 million in business. This weekend, it barely remains in the top ten with $6.2 million.
Fellow newcomer The Change-Up sputtered to a fourth place finish ($13.5 million), while Cowboys & Aliens continues to underwhelm with just $15.8 million. Here’s the top 10:
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – One of this summer’s biggest surprises (along with Bridesmaids), as the origin story of Caesar (Andy Serkis) has reinvigorated the franchise. $54 million
2. The Smurfs – $21 million
3. Cowboys & Aliens – What happens when you mix cowboys and aliens? A box office turkey. The Harrison Ford/Daniel Craig misfire, which had an estimated $163 million budget, managed just $15.8 million this weekend.
4. The Change-Up – Ryan Reynolds has the honor of starring in two box office stinkers this summer. At least Jason Bateman has Horrible Bosses. $13.5 million
5. Captain America: The First Avenger – The picture has been a solid performer for Paramount, as it’s collected over $145 million domestically. This weekend, it took in $13 million
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – $12.2 million
7. Crazy, Stupid, Love – It’s a smart and inspired comedy that, although it finished sixth with $12.1 million, is on pace to receive a moderate box office return. A fall release for the Steve Carell comedy/drama may have been a better plan for Warner Bros.