PLANET OF THE APES
A pilot crash lands on a strange planet, finding himself in a brutal, primal place where apes are in charge and humans are hunted and enslaved by the tyrannical primates.
This, the premise of Pierre Boulle' s classic novel Planet of the Apes, has become one of the most recognized and provocative concepts in the canon of science fiction literature and cinema.
Visionary filmmaker Tim Burton ("Batman," "Beetlejuice," "Edward
Scissorhands," "Sleepy Hollow") has taken Boulle's basic idea and built upon it a uniquely envisioned journey to an incredible upside-down world.
Burton's style and approach to the material break new ground in story, design and make-up effects. "I wasn't interested in doing a remake or a sequel of the original 'Planet of the Apes' film," says the director. "But I was intrigued by the idea of revisiting that world. Like a lot of people, I was affected by the original. It's like a good myth or fairy tale that stays with you. The idea of re-imagining that mythology is very exciting to me.
"The original has a life of its own, and we're trying to be respectful of it," adds Burton. "We hope to get the best out of it and in the process introduce new characters and other story elements, keeping the essence of the original but inhabiting that world in a different way.
Inhabiting worlds in a "different way" describes Burton's work on all of his films. "When you say 'Planet of the Apes' and Tim Burton in the same breath, that idea is instantly explosive, like lightning on the screen," says producer Richard D.
Zanuck. "All of Tim's films are highly imaginative and highly visual. He sees most things a bit off center, which is great for this material. I can't think of a more perfect pairing than Tim Burton and 'Planet of the Apes.' It spells magic to me."
Zanuck should know — as Fox production chief, he "greenlighted" the 1968 "Planet of the Apes." "Sometimes, I feel as though I'm in my own time warp," he adds.
Executive producer Ralph Winter worked closely with Zanuck to help bring to life Burton's vision. The film also features the work of some of today's most honored artists. Six-time Academy Award® winner Rick Baker ("Men in Black," "The Nutty Professor," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" ) designed and created the special make up, and the director of photography is Academy Award winner Philippe
Rousselot, AFC/ASC. ("A River Runs Through It").
Burton is also joined by several longtime collaborators, including Oscar® winning production designer Rick Heinrichs ("Sleepy Hollow"), Oscar-nominated costume designer Colleen Atwood ("Sleepy Hollow"), Grammy®-winning composer Danny Elfman
("Batman") and Chris Lebenzon, A.C.E., who has edited all of Burton's films. Industrial Light & Magic, which has garnered 14 Academy Awards for its breakthrough contributions on more than 120 films, created the special visual effects for
PLANET OF THE APES.
"This is an incredible group of filmmakers, many of whom are Oscar winners," notes Winter. "This film is historic in terms of not only its scale but the talent that's been assembled in front of and behind the camera."
Production designer Rick Heinrichs has been a friend of Burton's since college, and has worked on all of Burton's films. "Tim has a vision and sensibility that appeals to people on many different age levels," Heinrichs observes. "It's just been great being part of his films because they're all different from one another. He takes on a lot of risks and encourages us to do the same.
Heinrichs believes that the denizens of the PLANET OF THE APES are "very fertile ground" for Burton. "He's always enjoyed the dichotomy of animal-human behavior. Think of the Penguin
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