Viral Outbreak: Apes Are Getting Smarter

canister concept art planet of the apes

And so it begins. A few weeks ago we shared some details about the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, that we learned during a meeting with producers, directors, special effects people and Fox staff. Pretty fascinating stuff. We came away from it all really excited about seeing the movie. And we still are.

We also learned during our time with the Fox people that a new campaign was being rolled out to do exactly what they hope the CGI apes in Rise of the Planet of Apes will do in August — strike the fear of apes in us.

During the research process, director Ruper Wyatt and the special effects people at WETA had hundreds of compiled hours of footage of apes in action, sometimes doing things that look oddly human. To ramp up interest in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox is releasing some of the videos used to compile that footage.

The message? Apes are getting smarter. Are they right? Watch these videos and judge for yourself.

Gorilla Walks Upright

Up first, this video of a gorilla walking upright. This is bad news for a couple of reasons. First of all, we’re almost certain that it’s real. This video has made the rounds before, so it’s doubtful that it’s the result of movie promoting camera trickery. So we have a gorilla walking upright. That leads us to reason number two why this is bad news.

It’s been recently argued that humans evolved to walk upright not for transportation reason, but because it made us better fighters. Gorillas are already killing machines, their fighting technique is one thing the world doesn’t need them working on. Probably not math, either. Then they could own businesses and shit and it would just be total chaos.

Gorilla Plays First Person Shooter

Okay, this might be pushing it. It’s not that we don’t respect the horrible implications of apes with improved hand eye coordination, that would be bad times. But we’re not 100% sure we’re not being fleeced here. This video is apparently from an overseas documentary. It shows a gorilla playing a first person shooter. But here’s the thing, when the camera cuts to the gorilla’s hands, it’s rarely pushing any buttons, just moving the stick around. Who shoots with just sticks? Is that possible?

But, before we immediately call shenanigans, we must also consider that maybe some poor editing choices were made. Maybe there are hundreds of shots of the gorilla moving the sticks and shooting at the same time. Whatever, the case, we’re slightly less terrified of the thought of video game playing apes as opposed to upright apes.

Along with these initial entries from the “Apes Are Getting Smarter” campaign, the people at Fox also set us up with some newly released images from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. One in particular really caught our attention. Check it:


Say what you will about the accuracy of the promo videos, but damn if it doesn’t look like they’ve nailed the CGI apes in the film. You can see more of that in the official trailer.

It’s pretty easy to see why we’re excited about this new installment in the long running Planet of the Apes franchise, even if we aren’t exactly feeling threatened by the prospect of an ape taking us down in a first person shooter anytime soon.