It’s not unusual for a film to make changes after principal photography has ended that require some cast members to return for more shooting, and this summer’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is no exception. At a panel during the Visual Effects Society Production Summit, Fox’s president of postproduction Ted Gagliano revealed that the film underwent some last-hour reshoots that altered the finale and kept one character from meeting an untimely end.
“We shot for three hours and (Franco) was back on the plane,” Gagliano recalled, adding that this change led to a challenging final weeks of what was originally a 41 week post schedule that involved extensive visual effects work.
Gagliano stated that on July 4 of this summer, just a month before the film’s scheduled release, actors James Franco and Andy Serkis reshot the film’s climactic scene.
Originally, Franco’s biochemist character Will Rodman, who was responsible for artificially accelerating the chimpanzee Caesar’s intelligence, was supposed to die saving Caesar’s life. Since Will was a father figure to Caesar, his death would strike a parallel to the death of Will’s own father (John Lithgow) earlier in the film. (You can read that original scene at The Playlist.)
The producers and director Rupert Wyatt seemingly had a change of heart, however, and the actors were brought back to film the scene that played out in multiplexes this past summer in which Will tries to convince Caesar to come back home with him but Caesar declines indicating the woods he and the other apes from the wild life sanctuary have escaped to are now his home.
This certainly turned out to be a good thing for Franco. The film made over $400 million at the box office, a strong indication that studio Twentieth century Fox will want a sequel.
Of course, thanks to DVD and blu-ray disc, such cut and abandoned scenes are usually made available for the curious and Gagliano indicated that the original ending would probably show up that way at some point. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes doesn’t have an announced release on home video but is available for pre-order here.
Via Hollywood Reporter.