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Apes Remake News Archive 2/00-11/00


November 30, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

Variety reports that Kris Kristofferson is on board, playing the leader of the human rebels. [Originally appeared in Variety.]


November 29, 2000 (from the Internet Movie Database)

Clarke Duncan Praises Monkey Make-Up

American star Michael Clarke Duncan has praised the make-up artist on his latest movie - even though he is forced to spend three and a half hours in the makeup chair. The larger-than-life actor has been so impressed with Planet of the Apes (2001) makeup man Rick Baker's "phenomenal" job, he doesn't mind spending time being covered in latex. Baker, who also worked with Jim Carrey for five-hours-a-day while making How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), has won five academy awards for his work. The beefy actor says, "He has us looking so real you will not believe this." Duncan is in awe of the style of the film's director Tim Burton, and can't believe he will be working with him on the five month shoot. He says, "You know it's going to be good because of Burton's involvement. I think Tim is going to add his own little special spin to it because Tim isn't a typical director. He's really crazy looking and he gets all animated and I think this is going to be a fun shoot." The movie itself features Duncan alongside Mark Wahlberg, although as Duncan points out, "he doesn't have to get any make- up!" 


November 28, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

A bit more on David Warner's part, taken from Variety: He's "an esteemed liberal member of the apes' Senate and father of Helena Bonham Carter. They sympathize with the plight of the oppressed humans -- two of whom are Mark Wahlberg and Estella Warren. On the other side of the Senate aisle is Tim Roth, the ape leader who considers humans as animals, as does Michael Clarke Duncan." [Originally appeared in Variety.]


November 22, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

The Apester swung by and dropped the the following tidbit regarding Burton's remake. Emmanuel Lubezki (Oscar-nommed cinematographer on Sleepy Hollow and Great Expectations) has been tapped to do what he does best on Burton's re-imagining of the 1968 sci-fi masterpiece. ['The Apester' isn't monkeying around.]


November 16, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

The webmaster of The Tim Burton Collective dropped us a line: according to actor Glenn Shadix (a Burton regular in many of the director's films; he played Otho in Beetlejuice and was the voice of The Mayor in The Nightmare Before Christmas), via Shadix's official website (www.glennshadix.com), he's been cast as the orangutan Senator Nado!

"I've been spending a lot of time at Rick Baker's (five time Oscar winning make-up artist) having molds and casts made of my head, shoulders, arms, and hands," writes Shadix on his website. "I went in yesterday for another fitting for my ape dentures. Tim called me earlier this week to tell me I'll soon be enrolled in 'Ape School' along with Lisa Marie, Helena Bonham-Carter and David Warner. Hollywood has finally succeeded in making a monkey out of me!" David Warner's in it too, eh? New character and cast listings have been added to the top of our POTA listing!

[Scooped by Mike Jackson; originally appeared on The Glenn Shadix Website.]


November 16, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

Planet of the Apes: "Planet of the Apes started filming the airship scenes with Mark Wahlberg at the LA SONY studios this week Nov. 13-17, sightings of apes in 'Ghengis Khan' type suits have been seen on the lot also."


November 14, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

PLANET OF THE APES set observations in Arizona

Hey folks, Harry here... ya know... other than LORD OF THE RINGS, the set I'd most like to watching shooting on is PLANET OF THE APES... Can you imagine watching folks in all that Rick Baker ape make-up? In Genghis Khan style armor no less? Dear lord that has to be cool. Just chowing down in the lunch tent... all the apes in make up.... eating their salads and fish... The wise ass ape in the corner eating nothing but bananas... Ahhhh, you know that would rule. What geek hasn't dreamed of being on a Rick Baker ape-ish set since SCHLOCK or the Dino produced Kong? Sigh.... here ya go....

Signing in from scenic Northern Arizona, Lake Powell, where they're filming some scenes for Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. For an interesting tidbit, Lake Powell is where most of the first 45 minutes of the original Apes movie was filmed, and the set for this movie is about 5 miles east of where they shot the scarecrow scenes in the original.

Their set for the movie is located in an inlet in the main bay of the Lake, where the major marina exists. You can see the set from the road that leads into the marina and attached resort. Hell, with a good telephoto lens you could probably get some nice pics of the set. It appears that most of their shooting has been at night with fireballs and other assorted firey things all about.

I've seen the apes up close and personal, and they are awe-inspiring. The makeup is insanely realistic, and it's surreal to even see them walking about.

I've seen some of the production stuff, armor, tents, weapons, etc., and it all seems to be inspired by Genghis Khan's aesthetic sense. All very asiastic, with little monkey dragons on the armor.

I suppose that's about it, i'll try for some pics, but i don't know. I'll definitely have stuff on Reitman's Evolution when it hits town.

Ta-ta for now.

Call me The Sticky-Note


November 9, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

'Apes' Fatal Accident

Sad word has come of a fatality on the Los Angeles Center Studios set of the Planet of the Apes production. According to the Hollywood Reporter, on October 30th, a scenic artist named Paul Trachtenberg fell to his death while working on a floor-to-ceiling backdrop for the set.

Cal/OSHA is now investigating the death.

Our condolences go out to Trachtenberg's family and friends.


November 7, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

Apparently, Linda Harrison, who played Nova in the original Planet of the Apes, will be making a cameo appearance in the upcoming Tim Burton remake. According to an update on Harrison's own website, she will play a similar Nova-like character in a scene with Mark Wahlberg. [Originally appeared at Lindaharrison.com; thanks to MovieHeadlines for the tip; reported by Reg.]


November 5, 2000 (from Fandom.com)

Planet of the Apes at Stage 30 Set Description

New Burton film reportedly starts shooting in Arizona today
Author: Smilin` Jack Ruby

Since Planet of the Apes is roaring forward with those 500 Rick Baker apes, the big question in my mind was what the hell the "look" of the movie was going to be. The mysterious Stage 30 set on the Sony lot would provide a glimpse at that and as I’ve been keeping tabs on the development over there as they’ve brought in more and more huge slabs of styrofoam to carve into the massive set that extends wholly from one side of the building to the other (though I have heard rumors that there are other stages being used at Sony, too, this seems to be the biggest one).

Needless to say, the set is HUGE.

Note: Smilin' Jack Ruby sent us a note about his visit to the Apes set. Follow this link to read the full story.


November 2, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

According to this scooper who heard it from a local radio broadcast yesterday, filming begins today for Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes in the small desert town of Page, Arizona. "Page is the desert town north of Glen Canyon Dam which supports Lake Powell - the large reservoir on the Utah-Arizona border," writes our scooper. "Page is centrally located to 'Canyon Lands' and other picturesque locals seen in old westerns. This is generally a good season to get some good desert scenes without the suffocating heat, but unfortunately the long-term forecast shows at least a couple weeks of Seattle weather..." [Scooped by Apollo in Salt Lake.]
(Webmaster Note: Page, Arizona is the location used in the original film for the opening scenes in the Forbidden Zone.)


October 31, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

Planet of the Apes: The trades may have already published the story by the time you read this, but I think I may have beat them to the punch by an hour or so. What's the news? Seems that Charlton Heston has agreed to appear in Tim Burton's upcoming remake of "Planet of the Apes." An anonymous but reliable source indicates its only a short appearance, likely a cameo, but its surprising news nevertheless.

And here's the official story from Variety's Armey Archerd:

And now, as they say on the 11 o'clock news, ``some late-breaking news'': Charlton Heston, who starred in the first two ``Planet of the Apes'' pix for 20th, will cameo in the next. Yes, he was killed off in the second pic -- but now he returns as an ape. No, he's not a foot soldier, so he won't have to carry a gun -- as I did, as an ape (member of the National Rhesus Assn., ya know) in the first ``Planet'' pic, opposite Heston. Producer Richard Zanuck and director Tim Burton launch next week in Paige, Ariz., site of the first.


October 27, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

According to BBC Radio 2 report broadcast yesterday, George Clooney will be shooting a cameo for Tim Burton's new film -- portraying an ape. According to the BBC, star Mark Wahlberg got Clooney to appear in make-up for Planet of the Apes as some sort of joke between the two of them. It's not confirmed, but it's out there. [Ian Fee told us about it first.]


October 27, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Fox Summer 2001

20th Century Fox has announced the release dates of four of their developing higher profile projects for summer 2001.

...

Finally, Planet of the Apes is being pushed back from its previously announced July 4th release to July 27th. The Tim Burton film, which will star Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter, ramps up on November 6th.


October 24, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Roth Talks 'Apes' Training

While promoting his work in Lucky Numbers, actor Tim Roth also spoke briefly about his preparation work in taking on the ape make-up for Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. According to Jam Showbiz, Roth revealed, "I've been taking movement classes and a lot of horseback riding because we're scheduled to start filming next month."


October 18, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

Try this one on for size: apes fighting humans in a giant dust bowl? Daily Radar reports on the recent Planet of the Apes camera tests under way in Sun Valley, California. Here's the skinny on the good news:

"...Dozens of extras done up in many different varieties of ape and chimp, as well as just some regular ol' humans, ran around as the camera crew tested out various apertures and lenses. The scene location is called: EXT. DUST BOWL. There were apes fighting humans with apes in foreground and humans in background. Then they reversed it. Then, just for a little extra fun, they added flying dust into the mix...All said, the crew tested about 25 different camera setups at the location.

"Neither director Tim Burton nor any of the principal actors were involved in these tests, it was solely a day for the camera crew to work out any potential monkey wrenches...

[Appeared at Daily Radar; reported by Reg.]


October 17, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

Okay, here's some interesting info. Seems the Honolulu Star-Bulletin has reported that Hawaii will have play host to only "some second-unit photography...including background scenes to be used in digital effects." [Originally appeared at Honolulu Star-Bulletin; scooped by Lianne.]

However, another scooper, wanting to get a piece of the extra action, if you know what we mean, did some calling about. Here's what he learned: "...they are indeed looking for 'skinny, long-haired' guys BUT the shoot has been moved to March from December and will be for 5 days." [Thanks to Ricky B.]


October 16, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

While Oldman Exits…

Don't look for Gary Oldman in the upcoming Planet of the Apes… even under ape make-up. He won't be there. While talking to Access Hollywood, Oldman revealed that he had passed on the project, saying, "Sadly, they'll be making the movie without me. They don't want to pay anyone. They're cheap."


October 14, 2000 (From Yahoo Daily News)

Duncan Cast as a Gorilla in Movie

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Clarke Duncan is going ape.

The giant actor, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in ``The Green Mile'' has been cast as a silverback gorilla in the remake of the classic ``Planet of the Apes.''

Duncan told the Oct. 20 edition of Entertainment Weekly that his training to play a talking simian has been weird.

``You have to learn to roll your shoulders forward, hunch your back, and round out your arms the way apes do,'' he said. ``I'm also learning how to pick things up with a curved arm.''

Duncan said co-star Tim Roth was already inhabiting his character.

``Tim's excellent, because he's a chimpanzee and shorter to the ground; he kind of looks the part already,'' said Duncan.


October 11, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Wahlberg: Too Buff? An odd rumor has turned up that alleges that Mark Wahlberg may have bulked up too much for his work in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes project.

According to unnamed sources talking to Popculprit, Wahlberg was instructed to go bulk up for the part. Unfortunately, he did it only too well with word that the suits at Fox weren't pleased with his appearance. In addition, word has it that Burton agreed and has now asked Wahlberg to shed some of those muscles.

In addition, the site spoke to yet another anonymous source regarding the film's approach to the apes story. As previously reported, the film Is not a remake of the original Heston-starring classic, though it may involve Wahlberg and his crew crashing to Earth on a planet where apes evolved from man. The source is quoted as saying, "In terms of narrative, the film is inspired by the entire series of Planet of the Apes, rather than (just) the first film itself."


October 11, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

Planet of the Apes: You can never be too buff or too rich? Well Mark Wahlberg has destroyed that old cliche. With Tim Burton's upcoming remake of "Planet of the Apes" set to begin shooting next month, the crew is hard at work in pre-production with sets on the LA sound stages going up every day. iFUSE reports that a problem has arisen in regards to Wahlberg's physique - seems that Burton asked the actor to tone up a little bit for the movie - trouble is he took the advice a little too far and got too buff. Now Burton and FOX execs have asked the actor to shed a little muscle before he begins work on the movie which will not resemble the look of the 1968 original movie "in any way", rather opting for a "original vision, with ape creatures galore, gallivanting in a Tim Burton funhouse" according to a source. Thanks to 'Leslie.'


October 5, 2000 (from Variety)

By Michael Fleming

... Scripters Larry Konner and Mark Rosenthal (''Mighty Joe Young''), who wrote ``The Prisoner'' for director Simon West, have come aboard to tweak the Bill Broyles script for ``Planet of the Apes.'' They also wrote the Fox pic ``Around the World in 80 Days,'' which was developed as an Ang Lee-directed pic but is now planned as an animated feature for the studio.


September 29, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

Planet of the Apes: That may be the official title now, but indications keep solidifying that it may not have been at one point. After FOX's official confirmation here this week that PotA is the definite title, many dismissed "The Visitor" namesake as just Net rumour. However 'Smilin Jack Ruby' has found out that signs around Stage 30 at Sony indicate the project with "The Visitor" name is shooting there. Could it be a "Blue Harvest"-like fake title? or more likely a previous working title? You decide. Thanks to SJR.


September 25, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

Moriarty's Monkeyed Loose Some PLANET OF THE APES News!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Tell you what... I'll start calling it THE VISITOR when I see something official with the film's logo on it. Right now, everyone involved with the production is calling the film that is almost finished with set construction on Stage 30 of the Sony Lot "PLANET OF THE APES" when they talk about it, so I'm going to keep calling it PLANET OF THE APES. Try marketing it without that title and see how far you get, Fox. Go ahead... I'll wait.

In the meantime, I was working here at the Labs last night when I heard Mongo start to chatter and hoot excitedly. Normally this means he's figured out how to find Cinemax on the cable box, so I grabbed my "attitude adjuster" off the work bench and went to pry the remote free from him. Instead, I found him deep in simian conversation with a Red-Assed Baboon who he seemed to know. I asked what they were so excited about, and was surprised when the Baboon began to speak in the cultured English tones of Roddy McDowall. "I was a big fan of the original APES films," he offered by way of explanation.

"I've just been released from Rick Baker's makeup labs," he continued. "It's crazy over there right now. I got a good look at the design work being done, and I can tell you that it's nothing like the work that Winston was doing for the Cameron version. In some ways, it's going to make fans of the original very happy. I mean, looking at Helena Bonham Carter's makeup, you can't help but think of Kim Hunter. But it's more accurate. It's like they've used the classic style as a jumping off point. They've gotten really accurate, though. The head shapes, the face shapes... they're exactly the way real ape physiology works. The makeup itself is fairly high-tech stuff, and it's really responsive to the actors, so you should see some of the most subtle makeup performances ever by the time they finish. There's the species we already know, the chimpanzees and the orangutans and the gorillas, but there's other species as well. That's where you're going to see some stuff you've never seen before. Gibbons with necksacks that puff up when they're angry, mandrills, howler monkeys... Burton and Baker are working to really fill out the world with all these other species, each of them bringing their particular quirks to the movie.

"As far as the story is concerned, it's pretty straightforward. An astronaut crashes on this planet, he learns that humans are the animals while everything is run by apes, he's captured, and he starts to work with the chimps to bridge the gap between the species. It's a bigotry allegory. One thing I did learn is that they've got some giant surprise planned for the ending, something that will really screw with audiences the same way the Statue of Liberty ending did for the original audiences."

With that, he went back to screeching happily at Mongo, and I left the two of them to their crazy monkey games. I'm thinking I'll have to take a peek at the sets and the script to this thing soon. Right now, there's some rumbling about Tim Burton being unhappy with the film, but everything seems to still be moving forward. Provided there's no unexpected production hiccups in the weeks ahead, sounds like we're going to be seeing the ultimate Rick Baker ape film next summer. Must admit... I'm interested. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.


September 22, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

Various Bits: Despite indications to the contrary, FOX officially confirmed today that Tim Burton's remake of "Planet of the Apes" will be using the original title and NOT the Net rumoured "The Visitor".


September 18, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

The Visitor: 'The JonsterMonster' has this scoop on Tim Burton's upcoming remake of "Planet of the Apes":

"Theres six soundstages being used for the pic. Anywhere from forests to small ponds are being made in them. He said its very dark and gloomy like his other films. Also it has a 150 million dollar budget so far. They are also filming in Kuaii and Lake Perris here in So Cal.

There was no actors with any make up but he did meet Rick Baker. He said he saw a bunch of the masks on the wall. They are flesh colored with ape- like hair. He did see some stunt doubles with the below the neck costumes on......which are very very muscular. He said the mask are so good it looked like someone ripped faces of people and hung them up. Also very realistic....cause Baker is the best."


September 5, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

SW2, Planet of the Apes: Actress Rena Owen ("Once Were Warriors") was interviewed by Quebec TV and mention she had just finished shooting her scenes in "SW: Episode II", mostly ones with Ewan McGregor. The actress also has auditioned for a role in Tim Burton's upcoming remake of "The Planet of the Apes".


August 28, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

An anonymous scooper pointed out to us that Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's bio on the official Art of War website states he is about to enter production on this project. [Thanks to Anonymous.]


August 13, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

Rick Baker talks about APES.... PLANET OF THE... ya know...

Hey folks, Harry here... One of the great moments of geek glory in my life was actually getting to hang out and talk at length with Rick Baker on the set of the Grinch. I remember clearly seeing him from behind... that long mane of brown hair with the Reed Richards white streak... He was facing the Mayor of Whoville, and he turned and came over to talk to me... For the next hour or so we talked make up... For him Grinch was a perceived swan song for the medium of makeup... so many of the filmmakers have become obsessed with CGI... More and more people in makeup design are beginning to start playing with CG themselves... robotic animatronics... away from the purity of applications and grease pencils... no more egg membrames to make a blind eye... that gave way to contacts... and now Lucas just repaints the eyes. With THE MUMMY, cgi makeup techniques began to push forward. Who would want a bunch of old fashioned artists... folks that harken back to the 'creaky days' of Chaney and Jack Pierce? I told him that there will always be a place for transforming phantasmagorical makeup.... At the time... looking about myself at a hundred plus WHOs... I couldn't imagine anyone not DEMANDING to work in this medium. FOLKS... I tell you now... between Rick and his people's work on the GRINCH... and then the work they'll do on PLANET OF THE APES... we are going to be witnessing a renaissance in the field of magical make up. CG outpacing make up? Hmph... Not so long as cool folks like Tim Burton walk the earth and there are fans like us that marvel at the geniuses with brushes and paints and latex and hair plugs and so on.... Here's the report on POTA...

Hi Harry,

Larry Talbot here. Well I went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in LA yesterday and was lucky enough to hear Rick Baker give a little speech. People from the audience kept asking Apes questions and he stressed that he really couldn't talk about it but he did let slip that his crew will be producing about 500 apes and that at this time there are no plans to introduce animatronics. It will be a make-up job to enhance the performances of the actors. He said that based on a test they did Thursday he hasn't been as excited about a project for years and that he gave up a planned and much needed year off with his family to do this project. Thank you Rick!

Read a more detailed account at Fandom.com.


August 11, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Angst Over 'Apes'?

The Insider has long wondered what director Tim Burton would do if and when he actually got his creative paws on the Planet of the Apes franchise. Word is now leaking out and it portends clouds on the simian horizon.

Though mostly unsubstantiated, current rumors speak of possible creative conflicts between Apes helmer Tim Burton and Twentieth Century Fox. According to reports, Burton wants to center the story around the love affair between Mark Wahlberg's human character and the "ape princess," played by Helena Bonham Carter. Twentieth Century Fox, on the other hand, would prefer to play that angle down, apparently fearing problems with the film's rating and possible negative public reaction to a film that offers what might be termed 'bestiality.'

Calls to both Fox and Burton's reps have so far gone unanswered.


August 9, 2000 (from Dark Horizons)

On-Screen Monkey Business Causes A Stir

Word coming from the 'Planet of the Apes' remake project is turning a little more twisted with each day. Back on Sunday, Matt Drudge reported on his radio show that the studio is infuriated with Burton as "the human-ape romance in the movie is not done briefly, rather it is a major part of the movie's story" and the studios want all that stuff out (can't make merchandising money if the kiddies can't see it) or Director Tim Burton might get the can. Then yesterday the IMDb reported that there is a planned love making scene betweeen the ape princess (Helena Bonham Carter) and the human pilot (Mark Wahlberg) which has once again upset them - after all beastiality doesn't come under a PG-13 rating. Thanks to 'Kemper Boyd' & Coming Attractions.


August 8, 2000 (from Variety)

(Webmaster Note: Here's a little tidbit about who's NOT going to be in the Remake...)

DJIMON HOUNSOU takes ``Four Feathers''
By Michael Fleming

Djimon Hounsou is set to join Heath Ledger and Wes Bentley in the Shekar Kapur-directed pic ``Four Feathers.''

In the Miramax/Paramount co-production, Hounsou will play the tracker who guides Ledger through the Sudan in search of his missing friends and winds up aiding Ledger in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. Stanley and Bobby Jaffe are producing.

Hounsou, who followed a starmaking role in the Steven Spielberg-directed ``Amistad'' with a strong turn in the Ridley Scott-helmed ``Gladiator,'' had to turn down a role in Tim Burton's ``Planet of the Apes'' remake because the shooting schedule conflicted with that of ``Four Feathers.''

Reuters/Variety


August 7, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

'Apes' Make-Up Hints?

Though it's still a bit vague, there's been some bit of information on how different the apes make-up will be in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes than from the 1968 original. In a New York Times article about make up maestro Rick Baker, info on the new apes is provided. The Times describes models of Baker's apes that are in his studio. They are described as being "musclebound" and looking more like something out of Conan the Barbarian than John Chamber's classic interpretations.


August 3, 2000 (from Variety)

Bonham Carter Going Ape

By Paul F. Duke

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Helena Bonham Carter (``Fight Club'') is set to put on the makeup as an ape princess in 20th Century Fox's update of ``Planet of the Apes.''

She joins Mark Wahlberg, who's starring in the picture for director Tim Burton, as well as Michael Clarke Duncan, Tim Roth, Paul Giamatti and Estella Warren.

Fox hopes to begin shooting the film in the fall and is aiming to make it a high-profile release for next summer.

And here's an additional tidbit from the Hollywood Reporter:

Carter will likely play the role of an ape princess who holds a humanitarian belief that apes and humans can peacefully coexist. Duncan is said to be playing the role of an ape warrior and second-in-command to Roth's character, a military ape commander who believes humans are the inferior species.


July 28, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Duncan Joins 'Apes'

Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan (Green Mile, The Whole Nine Yards) has signed on for Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes for 20th Century Fox, joining Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Paul Giamatti, and Estella Warren. Duncan will play the role of an ape warrior and second-in-command to Roth's character, a military ape commander who believes humans are the inferior species.

Burton's Apes is described as a "reimagination" of the 1968 classic as opposed to a simple remake. Written by William Broyles Jr., the film is being produced by Richard Zanuck, with five-time Oscar winner Rick Baker providing the special effects makeup for the project.


July 28, 2000 (from Coming Attractions)

Hollywood Reporter is stating that Paul Giamatti is in the cast as well, and will play the slave-trading ape known as Limbo. [Originally appeared in Hollywood Reporter; reported by Widgett.]

Also occuring yesterday, Army Archerd reported in Variety that Michael Clarke Duncan has joined the cast and Roth is definitely in. Duncan plays a good guy, Roth...a bad guy. Well, they're not guys specifically, they're...apes. You know. Production kicks off October 23rd. [Originally appeared in Variety; reported by Widgett and Christian.]


July 27, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Roth Goes 'Apes'

After a week or two of speculation it appears that British actor Tim Roth (Resevoir Dogs) has signed on to the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes, says Hollywood Reporter this morning.

Rumor had Roth considered for major roles in both Apes and the still-casting Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Webmaster Note: Uh, we believe that's "Sorcerer's Stone"), the latter helmed by Chris Columbus. Although the rumors concerning Roth and Potter were never officially confirmed it seems a moot point as scheduling conflicts would make Roth's appearance in both films highly unlikely. Variety's Michael Fleming last week reported that Roth's role would be that of "the prime primate who enslaves [Mark] Wahlberg's character."

Paul Giamatti (Big Momma's House) is also set to join the Apes project, ready to take on the part of "Limbo," a slave-trading ape who sympathizes with the humans' plight.

Directed by Tim Burton, shooting from a script by William Boyles, Jr., filming is set to begin this fall with a targeted release date of July 4, 2001. Rick Baker, who worked with Burton transforming Martin Landau into Bela Lugosi for the film Ed Wood, will be providing special effects makeup


July 26, 2000 (from Variety)

Archerd: Defiant Val Kilmer eyes ``Batman'' redux
By Army Archerd, Daily Variety Senior Columnist

(Webmaster Note: This article about Val Kilmer's new movie, "The Salton Sea," had a brief tidbit about where Apes is shooting, along with a quote from Val Kilmer about playing Batman again...)

Everyone on the set when I visited was warm and complimentary. They were shooting in a seamy apartment re-created in the spankingly fresh, brand new LA Center Studios on the edge of downtown L.A. It was one of six stages, six more planned and mebbe more. It has been open one year and films shot there include ``Charlie's Angels'' and ``Numbers'' with four stages soon to be used for Dick Zanuck's ``Planet of the Apes'' remake for 20th Century Fox.

...

What's next? He'll be seen in WB's ``The Red Planet.'' And he's writing ``The Miracle Doctor'' (gets a new title) about inexplicable medical recovery -- while also exposing some medical practices. He admitted he'd also like to do another ``Batman'' -- his ``Batman Forever'' was considered the best by many. He'd like it to have more humor. After all, Kilmer, excuse it, ``Batman,'' is really a very likable fellow.


July 20, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

'Potter' Or 'Apes'?

Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) seems to be facing a dilemma of sorts. Which movie will he jump into: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone or Planet of the Apes? According to Variety columnist Michael Fleming, Roth has recently been offered a role in Tim Burton's Apes remake. The problem is that scheduling for Apes shooting is said to be roughly at the same time as Harry Potter, where Roth is said to be up for the role of Professor Snape.

The columnist reports that the role Roth is being offered in Apes is "the prime primate who enslaves [Mark] Wahlberg's character."

Given that both properties are being developed with franchises in mind, Roth could go either way and probably get work in further installments.


July 12, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Warren Going 'Apes'

Model turned actress Estella Warren (Champs) is on the verge of signing on to Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake. According to a number of sources, Warren is in final negotiations to take on the role of love interest to Mark Wahlberg.

In addition, though a shroud of secrecy has been wrapped around the production regarding the film's new story, word has it that Wahlberg's character will be a pilot rather than the astronaut that Charlton Heston's Taylor was, this according to the Hollywood Reporter.


June 30, 2000 (From Yahoo Daily News)

Wahlberg: "Apes" Man

He weathered The Perfect Storm, but will Marky Mark survive The Planet of the Apes?

Twentieth Century Fox has announced that rapper-turned-underwear model-turned actor Mark Wahlberg has agreed to star in Tim Burton's update of the sci-fi monkey classic, taking over the role made famous by Charlton Heston.

Wahlberg is signed to a two-picture deal, covering the remake and a potential sequel. The pact comes as negotiations broke down for the actor to take part in Paramount's Criminal Conversations

Keeping mum on the script written by William Broyles Jr., Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck (who supervised the original) only says that the new version features a more humanistic storyline, as well as a younger male lead, a role perfectly suited for Wahlberg.

"Both Tim and I are thrilled to have Mark on board," Zanuck tells the Hollywood Reporter. "As we always envisioned, he is the lead of this piece, a young pilot who comes into this strange culture of ape and man. He combines both great acting talent as well as physical ability."

Released in 1968, the original Planet of the Apes centered on a trio of astronauts marooned on a world featuring talking simians lording over enslaved humans. Heston's character tried to escape from the "damn, dirty apes" only to find out he was actually on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The movie was an instant cult classic and garnered four sequels.

Fox is reportedly also in talks with Gary Oldman to play the militant gorilla in charge of the simian senate, a role originated by James Whitley (Webmaster note: That's James Whitmore, folks). Meanwhile, there's no word on whether Wahlberg's seemingly inseparable costar George Clooney (Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, the upcoming Ocean's Eleven remake) will be going ape, as well.

In any case, shooting is slated to start in the fall, with Fox planning a massive opening on the July 4, 2001 holiday.

The updated Apes has gone through a tortured evolution. The project intitially got off the ground in 1995 when Oliver Stone announced plans to reincarnate the franchise, with Arnold Schwarzenegger reportedly traveling back in time to to save the human race from war-mongering monkeys.

When Stone dropped out, the project looked headed for extinction until a series of A-list directors took interest. The project went through several incarnations, with such notable directors as Home Alone's Chris Columbus, Clear and Present Danger's Phillip Noyce and James Cameron variously attached at the helm.


June 29, 2000 (From Variety)

Wahlberg going ``Apes''

By Paul F. Duke and Claude Brodesser

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Mark Wahlberg has signed to take the lead role in 20th Century Fox's ``Planet of the Apes'' in a two-picture deal that also includes a sequel.

Director Tim Burton is scheduled to begin shooting in the fall, with Fox planning a high-profile release in summer 2001.

Wahlberg's path to serious talks with Fox was cleared earlier last week, when his negotiations to star in Paramount's ``Criminal Conversations'' fell apart. He stars in Warner Bros.' ``The Perfect Storm'' opening Friday. His credits include ''Boogie Nights'' and ``Three Kings.''

Burton's last picture was ``Sleepy Hollow,'' which grossed more than $100 million domestically.

Written by Bill Broyles, the story behind the latest version of the ``Apes'' saga is still a closely guarded secret. It's said to be neither a sequel nor a remake, but rather a reimagining of the original series of five ``Apes'' pictures released between 1968 and 1973.


June 22, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Wahlberg In 'Apes'?

Okay, we know that Matt Damon has been talking with Tim Burton about the Planet of the Apes remake, but so has Mark Wahlberg. While talking to Cinescape Online's Cin City columnist Cindy Pearlman, Wahlberg revealed that he had been in talks with Burton, saying, "People tell me I'm pretty simian, but I think Tim Burton wants me to be the Charlton Heston."

Wahlberg explains, "Tim is the kind of guy where I just say yes to anything he wants me to do. I did say, `What kind of ape do you want me to play?' and Tim has said, `You're the human.'"


June 22, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Damon: 'Minority' & 'Apes'

Matt Damon is talking about the temporarily delayed Minority Report project as well as the possibility of his jumping into Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes.

While talking to iFUSE about Minority Report, Damon revealed that he has agreed to take a supporting role in the eventual film, adding that Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise "are two confident dudes. There's no way I wouldn't want to do that film…It's such a great concept, and I'd love to see that dynamic there."

Regarding Planet of the Apes, Damon comments that Tim Burton's "concept is really ambitious. It's not going to be like the original."

Damon adds that he has yet to decide on whether or not he'll jump on board, though he also mentions that he really wants to take on Doug Liman's Bourne Identity.


June 21, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

'Identity' Over 'Apes'?

It's looking like Matt Damon might not be in the Planet of the Apes project after all. According to a number of sources, the actor is currently in negotiations to take the leading role in Universal Pictures' Bourne Identity, based on Robert Ludlum's novel. Should he finally sign on to the Doug Liman directed vehicle, filming is expected to start in the fall, which would seem to put it in conflict with Apes…if Damon even wants to do the Burton flick.


June 20, 2000 (From the Internet Movie Database)

Planet Of The Apes Movie Has No Part For Charlton Heston

Planet of the Apes (1968) star Charlton Heston has been snubbed by the makers of the new version of the classic flick - who say they have "no place for him." The Tim Burton film, due to be released next year, is a reconstruction of the basic themes found in the 1968 original. But while Matt Damon is widely believed to have been cast in the main part, the movie's producer Richard D. Zanuck insists Heston will never be considered to star alongside him. Zanuck says, "The film is not a sequel, it's not a remake of The Planet of the Apes (1968), it is a reconstruction of the basic idea -- a re-imagination of apes and humans. However there is definitely no part for Charlton Heston."


June 17, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

Dirk Diggler up for Burton's PLANET OF THE APES

Hey folks, Harry here.... Seems that Mark Wahlberg is staring at an offer from Fox and Tim Burton to take part in PLANET OF THE APES. Now... Given that noone has seen the William Broyles draft yet, and given what part he's been offered is unknown... This news really doesn't mean a helluvalot. Is it the same part that Matt Damon was... awaiting the script before deciding upon? Or would this be in additon to the talented Mr Ripley? Ultimately the idea of having Ryan's Privates and Dirk Diggler in a flick together with an apey Devito... well... Once again... since noone seems to have a clue about the take or angle that they seem to be headed with this film.... Is it campy or serious? Is it a sequel, a prequel, a remake or a stand alone? Will it fit with what has come before or go somewhere entirely different? I don't know, but I do know that there's an offer to Wahlberg... and time will tell if he accepts.


June 8, 2000 (From The Hollywood Reporter)

Damon mulls 'Apes,' 'Identity'

Matt Damon is figuring out which project to tackle next. He has an offer from Universal Pictures to star in the Doug Liman-directed "Bourne Identity," but he met with director Tim Burton on Monday about starring in 20th Century Fox's remake of "Planet of the Apes." Damon won't make any decisions until he sees the most recent draft of the "Apes" script, due in a couple of weeks. Both projects are set to roll in the fall. Burton, meanwhile, is also toying with the idea of bringing Danny DeVito into the project to play one of the apes. The duo have not worked together since 1992's "Batman Returns." DeVito and Damon aren't strangers either, having co-starred in "John Grisham's The Rainmaker."


June 8, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

(Webmaster Note: Here's an additional tidbit from Cinescape's version of the Hawaii location story...)

In related news, a strange bit of information has turned up courtesy of Exhibitor Relations regarding the remake. In their listings of upcoming movies and their release dates, the Planet of the Apes remake is also being called "The Visitor." Is this a shooting title for the project? We'll see what we can find out.


June 7, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

More from Rachel on Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with still more from Rachel taken out of the Honolulu Star regarding Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES. Ya know... I've officially just gotten bonkers excited about this film and I don't know why. I guess it's this damn SLEEPY HOLLOW dvd which just ruled the earth. I mean... man... Burton... He is literally just the coolest cat in town. The pure glee with which his characters die in SLEEPY HOLLOW... it's wonderful.

Harry, 

here's something else from yesterday's Honolulu Star: 

Burton already has scouted the Big island, Lanai, Maui, and Kauai; Oahu is not being considered for the film, he said.

"The stage we're in right now with this film is to think and dream and look," he said. "Once you get going on a film you don't get a chance ever to sit and appreciate a place, even a toxic waste dump."

Burton also is considering other locations for "Planet" but declined to say where or what the budget will be because, "I'm not sure yet."

But he is sure that he's not taking on "Planet" to do just another remake of the franchise.

"It was a movie that had impact on me as a kid," he said. "It's like a fairy tale, a folk tale to me. I had a feeling that there is a way to do it differently, exploring thematically similar things but in a different way.

"I think it can be revisited and re-imagined to a whole new generation and to people like me who are interested in other aspects of what the film said."

Filming will begin sometime this year.

"But I have to say," Burton said glancing toward the star-filled sky. "This would be a perfect place to do it."

: ) 
--rachel


June 6, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES to shoot in Hawaii?

Hey there all you folks that have GONE APE, Harry here with a tidbit of a scoop from Rachel out there in Hawaii with this update about a possible shooting location for Burton's latest undertaking. Meanwhile, I found out today that on August 15th, it looks like Fox is going APE and releasing a special, limited to only 100,000 units, box set of all of the PLANET OF THE APES movies plus the feature length documentary BEHIND THE PLANET OF THE APES.... it is a 6 disc set that is supposed to retail for about a hundred bucks, but if you go to your favorite DVD online spot you can pre-order for about 30%-40% off. I've already ordered mine... Heheheh... Soon the glory of Nova will reach my screen!

Harry, 

I can't recall hearing anything before now about where Tim Burton's new POTA will be shot, so I thought you'd like to see this little piece from the Honolulu Star:

...Burton...has been in Hawaii the last few weeks scouting on Kauai, Lanai and Maui for a "Planet of the Apes" sequel ... 

: ) 

--rachel


May 5, 2000 (From IGN FilmForce)

FX Guru Baker to Create New "Apes"

According to The Hollywood Reporter, makeup FX guru Rick Baker is in final talks with 20th Century Fox to create the creature/makeup effects for their Tim Burton helmed remake of Planet of the Apes.

A quick glance at Baker's filmography proves he's more than up for the task of recreating Zira, Cornelius, and the rest of those wacky talking primates. He's created the ape effects for movies like Mighty Joe Young, Gorillas in the Mist, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, and 1976's King Kong.

Rick Baker has won 5 Oscars in his nearly 30-year career, and has been nominated 9 times. His most recent win was for Men in Black in 1998.

There was some buzz a couple months back that Steve Johnson (Eraser, Species, Lord of Illusions), a former makeup effects teammate of Baker's, might be signing on for the "Apes" gig. Fox had reportedly courted Baker but at the time he was too deeply involved in his latest task, transforming Jim Carrey into "The Grinch," that he couldn't even consider committing to the new project. Apparently, creating "The Grinch" was especially challenging for the veteran effects master, and he had considered taking a long respite after wrapping production, if not retiring altogether. Obviously this was hooey, or he's simply changed his mind and is now feeling up to the task.

This writer had hoped against hope that Baker would be called in to work on Star Wars: Episode II, but the "Apes" announcement makes that seem even more unlikely than it already was. You see, it appears that Nick Dudman, the creature effects supervisor that worked on Episode I, may not be returning for the second installment. Baker worked on the original Star Wars in 1977, and would have been a great addition to the SW2 crew. Although Dudman's work prior to The Phantom Menace was superb (The 5th Element), many regarded the creature suit, and makeup work on The Phantom Menace as hit and miss. I still say that Yoda didn't look as good as it could've! Baker could have easily filled Dudman's shoes, and then would've proceeded to burst right out of them in hulk-like fashion. Alas...it's not to be.

We can however, look forward to more of Baker's fine work on Planet of the Apes, which could start production as early as next fall, keeping it on track for a possible Summer 2001 release.

A grunting, armpit scratching thanks goes to the excellent IGN affiliate, Coming Soon for the heads-up on the Ape scoop!

- Brian Linder likes monkeys.


May 3, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Baker Handling 'Apes' FX

In spite of previous assumptions that Stan Winston would be handling the special make up effects for the remake of Planet of the Apes, word has it Rick Baker is on the verge of signing up to do so instead.

According to Variety, Baker is currently in final negotiations to come on board the project that will be directed by Tim Burton. For quite some time, it was generally assumed that Stan Winston would be handling Apes, with word that he had already created a number of preliminary apes constructs. Winston has been considered a part of the project even before Oliver Stone and James Cameron expressed interest. The trade was unable to get a comment of this change of events from Winston.

Production of the film is likely to start in the fall with a script by Bill Broyles. As previously reported, and confirmed again by the trade, Broyles script is a youthified version of the story with word that the lead is a 25-year old.

(Webmaster Note: This is great news, not just because Rick Baker is a god at make-up design, but also because he's been an Apes fan since he was a kid. Baker's first movie was Schlock!, a satire of "missing link" movies.)


March 20, 2000 (Thanks to the tipster who sent this in)

APES Producer Named!

EXCLUSIVE SCOOP! An informant tells us that Fox is about to announce that the producer for the new Apes film is... (drum roll please) Richard Zanuck! Needless to say, this is an incredible turn of events! Zanuck is the former head of 20th Century-Fox (having taken the reigns from his father, studio founder Darryl F. Zanuck) who was the one studio head who saw the potential of the first Apes film, took a chance, and greenlit the project. Not only that, but he cast his then-girlfriend (and later wife and mother of his two sons, Dean and Harrison), the beautiful Linda Harrison, as Nova, the human girl who befriends Charlton Heston. And a few years later, after leaving Fox to become an independent producer, he hired a young, virtually inexperienced director named Steven Spielberg to direct a little picture about a shark... but I digress. Needless to say, this is too cool. After this project's rocky history, we had our doubts about whether or not it would still make it before the cameras anytime soon, even after Burton signed on (look what happened to Superman). But now that Zanuck is on board, things are looking EXTREMELY good! Now, if we could just get some info about that script...!

Update March 21: Okay, now that we were first on the street with the news, here's Variety's report:

Producer Zanuck swings back to ``Apes''
By Paul F. Duke

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Laughing that ``It's like I'm in my own time warp,'' Richard Zanuck has signed on as producer of Twentieth Century Fox's ``Planet of the Apes.''

The traveling-full-circle image is reminiscent of the ending of the original ``Planet of the Apes,'' with astronaut Charlton Heston discovering he's landed on the Earth of the future: Zanuck was president of production at Fox when the 1968 film and the first of its four sequels, ``Beneath the Planet of the Apes,'' were made.

Zanuck and his wife, Lili Fini Zanuck, are producing this year's Oscarcast. While he has sometimes paired with her and other partners in producing films, Zanuck said he will be the sole producer on ``Apes.''

The signing of the high-profile Zanuck is another sign of the priority the project has at Fox, which is aiming to start production in the fall for a summer 2001 release. Tim Burton (``Sleepy Hollow'') is directing from a script by Bill Broyles.

With a producer in place, the picture should move quickly into re-writing and pre-production.

Zanuck -- on his car phone as he raced around Los Angeles preparing for Sunday's Oscars -- recalled that he picked up the original ``Planet of the Apes'' project in turnaround.

``I was intrigued by it but I was worried the audience would laugh at the ape characters.''

So Zanuck ordered up a brief test with Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Zaius. Robinson balked at the makeup (and was replaced by Maurice Evans), but the test worked and the picture launched one of the most successful film series ever.

He wouldn't discuss the particulars of the new film's plot or its relationship to the previous pics, but said, ``Our objective is to make a very entertaining picture that does have substance and has characters -- human and ape -- that people will care about.''

``Apes'' will create another important chapter in Zanuck's own history with Fox. His father was Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck, and Richard Zanuck was named head of production at Fox when he was 28 in the early 1960s and held the post for eight years.

Zanuck and his wife won the best-picture Oscar for 1989's ``Driving Miss Daisy.'' Most recently, the two had a production deal with the studio's Fox 2000 production unit, but that deal lapsed without producing any pics for Fox.

Zanuck has ``Rules of Engagement,'' a Paramount film he produced with Scott Rudin, opening April 7.

Reuters/Variety


March 10, 2000 (From Yahoo Daily News)

(Webmaster Note: This excerpt is from a lengthy article (click the link above to read the whole thing) concerning Fox's presentation at ShoWest, where they promoted X-Men, Me, Myself, and Irene, and Titan A.E.)

Although Fox focused on its summer offerings, the studio did take time to plug the reunion of Forrest Gump guys Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks in Castaway and confirmed several much-rumored projects, including the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes redo, True Lies 2, Independence Day 2 and yet another entry in the Die Hard franchise


March 7, 2000 (Thanks to the tipster who sent this in)

I've heard through a reliable source that the Steve Johnson Studio has scored the Make-up contract for the new Ape film. Rick Baker is busy working on "The Grinch" and rumor has it that the shoot has taken a lot out of him. Again, rumor has it that he will either take a long vacation after the shoot or quit altogether. Steve Johnson was once part of Baker's team (I believe). His credits include Virus and the Species film series.


February 28, 2000 (From Ain't It Cool News)

(Webmaster Note: We report the following rumor only to DEBUNK it...)

DiCaprio or Damon up for PLANET OF THE APES?

This my friends and cohorts is pure RUMOR. Word has it that the draft from Bill Broyles is a departure... a great departure from the previous horrid drafts that have been attached for the past few years. One source at FOX has told me that the film isn't so much a remake, as it is a possible new chapter. We'll know more later. As for the Damon and DiCaprio rumors... I don't know from whence the MELBOURNE pulled them, but until we hear otherwise... I believe that's speculation... not solid at this point.

Hey Harry, 

I was reading the morning paper down here in Melbourne and saw this tidbit on Planet of the Apes. We already know about the Tim Burton rumor but the casting choices and budget are new. Here's the article word for word. 

Herald Sun, Saturday, February 26, 2000

THE big names in the directing ranks have been prowling around Fox Studios' planned remake of Planet of the Apes for seven years now, but it looks as if Sleepy Hollow filmmaker Tim Burton will sercure the job. The updated version -- tentatively budgeted at $120 million -- has been earmarked as Fox's centrepiece release for 2001, with hot young actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon reportedly competing for the lead role played by Charlton Heston in the original. The project has been in development since 1993, with leading showbiz figures such as James Cameron, Oliver Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger being attached at one time or another.

Not sure if this is just speculation by the media or they actually have a source. Every week DiCaprio is rumored for numeros projects so who knows, however he does seem to be a Fox favourite with Romeo + Juliet, Titanic and the Beach. Anyway hope you can use this. 

Cheers, 
J.F. Sebastian 

(Webmaster Note: Well, if you read the piece below, you'll see that Damon and DiCaprio were only mentioned by Variety as being the "right age range" for the lead role, and not specifically in the running. Just a bit of lazy reporting by the Melbourne Herald Sun.)


February 22, 2000 (From Cinescape Online)

Burton Helming "Apes"?

Given that 20th Century Fox announced the Planet of the Apes project last March at ShoWest as having a 2001 release date, things really have to start moving soon on this project. Now, according to a number of sources, Tim Burton is in final negotiations to helm the film with word that a signing could happen today.

Though the details of the film's script, which has been making the rounds of directors under very careful control of Fox, are still secret, it is still that of the previously reported Bill Broyles. Last March, when Broyles script was reported, it was also noted that plans were afoot to "youthify" the franchise with the film's lead character being young. In fact, Variety is reporting that the script would need actors in the age range of Leonardo DiCaprio or Matt Damon, though neither are specifically mentioned as being in the running for the film.

In addition, "insiders" in contact with Variety are saying that the new film is neither a remake or a sequel but instead will be a "re-imagining" of the original series.

The film, which as yet has no producer or cast, is being targeted for release on the 4th of July weekend in 2001. Given the time involved in making a film like this work, one would imagine that pre-production would begin as soon as Burton signs to ensure the film hits theaters on time. (Webmaster Note: We're a little wary about Tim Burton directing the new Apes film -- just doesn't seem his style -- but there does seem to be one good bit of news. If Burton has to rush straight into production, he won't have time to muck up the script like he did for Superman Lives.)


February 17, 2000 (From IGN Movies)

IGN Movies Exclusive: Planet of the Apes

Which dark and twisted director is talking to Fox? And which dramatic director is on deck? 

Fox has been trying to get their Planet of the Apes remake (a.k.a. Return of the Apes) on the fast track for years. Once upon a time, Oliver Stone, Don Murphy and Jane Hamsher (producers of Natural Born Killers), and even Chris Columbus were attached.

What the hell? Chris Columbus doing social commentary savagery? Don't knock him too hard. Chris may have dropped out, but under his development phase Stan Winston created some knock-you-on-your-ass ape facial mechanicals. Columbus' loss is Ron Howard's gain: the Winstonology went into making Jim Carrey's Grinch-y grin.

Yes, James Cameron was even going to produce (and maybe direct, and maybe write), with Ah-nold possibly playing Taylor the astronaut. There were whispers that if this were to pass, Jim would fit the new story into the Apes continuing story arc. Then Jimmy's toy boat opus Titanic made its money back, and he decided to take a vacation. A year-long vacation. Scratch Apes.

And don't forget all the scripts: from Terry Hayes (who's done development drafts of Fahrenheit 451 and From Hell) to Sam Hamm (Batman, Monkeybone and a kick-ass draft of Watchmen that will never see the light of screen). Andrew Kevin Walker allegedly just penned a draft, and we know for sure that William Broyles (Apollo 13, Entrapment, Cast Away) just handed in a so-super-secret-he-had-to-write-it-blindfolded draft a few weeks ago. But somebody's about to read it, and that somebody is …

Tim Burton. Yup, IGN Movies is intrigued to announce that the modern master of the macabre is rumored to be chatting with Fox about monkeying around. Burton -- who's also linked to The Corpse Bride and a remake of that old Ray Milland horror pic, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes -- is an interesting choice who will definitely take things in a different direction. Which begs the question: does Fox have a direction, or are they looking for one?

They may be looking past Tim, if they read today's The Hollywood Reporter. THR reports that Warner Brothers has a Superman Lives draft they and Nic Cage finally like (courtesy of scribe William Wisher, co-writer with Jimmie of Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and you start thinking maybe Tim hop back on Supers and Burton-ize Metropolis. Then what's Fox gonna do?

Ah, but Fox knows how the game is played. If talks with Tim don't work out, or he goes elsewhere, Fox is allegedly looking toward Mr. Green Mile himself, Frank Darabont. But Frank's supposed to be directing his Capra-esque Black List pic, The Bijou, as well as working with Chuck Russell on Doc Savage (starring that almost-astronaut, Arnie S.). So then what's Fox gonna do?

Beats us. But we'll be sure to ask Bill Mechanic next time we bump into him in one of our Fox parking lot insurance scams.

-- Den Shewman thinks the Statue of Liberty shot in the original Apes is a modern classic


For the previous history of the Apes Remake, go to our Remake News Archive Page