In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released by 20th Century Fox. The franchise re-boot offered British director Rupert Wyatt the chance to explore the dark recesses of the original series, but, perhaps even more intriguingly, presented an opportunity to examine the innovative exploration of the interaction between humans and their close evolutionary cousins – Apes.
The series became a highly successful franchise beginning way back in 1968 – the first offering was the Franklin J. Schaffner film based on the French Novel, La Planète des singes. But the 2011 re-boot was loosely based on the fourth film in the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Perhaps tellingly, Wyatt’s film was not an official remake of its 1972 counterpart. It was immediately clear Fox was looking for a modernist take on a story about genetics, cutting-edge science, and humanities increasingly volatile relationship with the natural world; ultimately they wanted a film that would resonate with a 21st century audience – a film that would make us think.