Wahlberg blames Planet of the Apes failure on Fox

Posted by CB Droege

Macabre director Tim Burton surprised everyone in 2001 when he made a less than stellar film.

Burton is typically a filmmaking genius, but his remake of Planet of the Apes almost flopped at the box-office. Yes, it turned a profit, but not nearly what was originally anticipated. As such, the movie was panned by critics and fans alike.

All plans to turn that film into a franchise under Burton were scrapped, despite the very sequely ending of the film. Some claimed that it was the franchise itself, that Planet of the Apes, originally a film starring Charlton Heston and directed by Franklin Schaffner in 1968, simply couldn’t be touched.

Last year, that hypothesis was proven false when Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco and Andy Serkis, turned out to be an extraordinary film, and possibly the best movie of the year. It was certainly the most touching and fulfilling experience I had in the theater over  the last 12 months.

There are a lot of differences between the films, however. While the Burton film attempted to directly remake the Schaffner original, Rise chose to start at another place in the timeline, essentially remaking - or more accurately: reimagining - the prequel films to the original.

In addition, the new film took advantage of the most sophisticated motion-capture technology ever put into use on a film production, giving the director the ability to create a truly compelling ape character with the help of Sekris, a master facial mo-cap actor, who honed his skills on the set of Lord of the Rings.

Any of these things - or even just the zeitgeist - could be pointed to as a good reason for the difference in success of the two films, yet in a surprisingly candid and frank interview with MTV - the actor is out promoting his new film, Contraband - Whalberg discussed his feelings about the relative failure of the film he starred in.

"I haven't seen [Rise] yet, but I heard it was pretty damn good. Well, ours wasn't. It is what it is," he began, explaining: "[20th Century Fox] didn't have the script right. They had a release date before [Burton] had shot a foot of film, and it was like they were pushing him and pushing him in the wrong direction. You have got to let Tim do his thing."

The actor was careful not to blame Burton himself saying of his relationship with the director, "I have no better time on any movie than I had working with Tim. I had the most amazing time with Tim. I run to be on the set with him. We were doing reshoots, and he came out with me to Paris. We're in the club ... Then he'd be drawing people, and all of his caricatures looked the same."