There’s a genuine sense of positive feeling towards Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, thanks to an impressive trailer and the power of WETA, which was demonstrated to glorious effect with the release this week of a few seconds of a CG ape.

FirstShowing conducted an interview with the director and it’s a wonderful insight into the ideas behind the film, the influences of the technology which goes to make up the film, the blessing and burden of adhering to the Planet of the Apes mythology.

Of particular interest is the answer about Andy Serkis and his importance to the film, Wyatt said,

We live or die by how he pulled that off because he’s our central character. When we shot the film we had Andy in the scenes. He was performing that character. When we cut the film, it was Andy – albeit in his motion capture suit – but it was Andy playing that role. Same with all of the other apes. Then gradually you start to transition from the human performer to the very early version of the animation and the blocking. Then you go and you put the skin on. Then you put the hair on. Then you start to really work on the nuance. That translation is very much like making the movie for a second time, because you’re trying to recapture basically the performance you had with the human performer by putting it into a digital creature. And along the way certain things can go awry.

It’s a fascinating interview, well worth a look if you need to be convinced that this isn’t some soulless cash in. If you’ve not seen the trailer then click here to see it, it made a convert out of me though the ApesWillRise nonsense slapped some of the anticipation out of me.

Check out Rupert Wyatt talking to FirstShowing here.