war for the planet of the apes

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - War for the Planet of the Apes -

Please take sen­si­ble, sturdy footwear,” they said. Boy, was it good ad­vice. On a cold, wet af­ter­noon in Oc­to­ber 2015,

SFX has been driven into the for­est north of Co­quit­lam, Canada. In the dis­tance looms a mist-shrouded moun­tain. In ev­ery di­rec­tion, ranks of skyscrap­ing hem­lock trees silently mock man’s ephemeral in­signif­i­cance. Hid­den amongst their ranks, a minia­ture tent city has sprouted up, as peo­ple labour un­der drip­ping can­vas to try to cre­ate some­thing that could com­pete with the awe-in­spir­ing splen­dour all around. It’s pour­ing down – and has been for hours, judg­ing by the Glas­ton­bury-es­que lev­els of mud. Boards laid down to aid safe pas­sage shift dis­con­cert­ingly be­neath our feet. It’s day 11 of shoot­ing on War For The Planet

Of Apes, and ape leader Cae­sar is about to make one last at­tempt to avoid a seem­ingly in­evitable con­flict. We ob­serve as fi­nal ad­just­ments are made be­fore a take. A crew mem­ber con­sults a light meter; it’s pro­tected from the rain by plas­tic – but Andy Serkis isn’t so lucky. Stand­ing in front of a bristling mass of logs which jut out ag­gres­sively like tank bar­rels, face dot­ted with white spots, the Apes star is clad in a tight grey body­suit, and is get­ting a thor­ough soak­ing. You sus­pect the head­mounted cam­era trained on his ex­pres­sion is mostly record­ing chat­ter­ing teeth.

Three of his fel­low mo­tion-cap­ture ac­tors look on, some from a crouch, as Serkis ad­dresses two uni­formed soldiers seated on horses, their hands tied. “Tell your Colonel you have seen me now,” he rum­bles, his vo­cal rhythms sur­pris­ingly free of Shat­ne­r­ian pauses. “I have a mes­sage for him: leave us the woods and this killing can stop.” Af­ter the horses are sent on their way, Serkis turns to orang­utan ad­viser Mau­rice. “I have shown mercy. He will

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