WETA Digital, the VFX team behind films such as Avatar, King Kong and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, were given the task by 20th Century Fox of creating living and breathing apes in roughly a year for Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
The visual effects in recent trailers and TV spots have been quite impressive, and in this new featurette the team show us how they did it.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is an origins story set in present-day San Francisco. The film is a reality-based cautionary tale, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. One hyper-intelligent chimp called Caesar (motion captured by Andy Serkis) incites a worldwide ape revolution and causes the downfall of humankind.
James Franco plays a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes, with Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto playing a primatologist. The movie also stars John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, David Oyelowo and Andy Serkis as Caesar, and will be released August 5, 2011.