Most actors and directors are involved at some point in movies they'd prefer to forget about. No one is lucky enough to make hits every time, after all. For Tim Burton, that's his 2001 remake of "Planet of the Apes." Even with his unimpressive 21st-century track record, that one sticks out as a clunker, and it always comes in near the bottom of the "Apes" series rankings.
Shortly after the movie's release, Burton said he would "rather jump out of the window" than direct an "Apes" sequel. His star, Mark Wahlberg, doesn't seem fond of the movie either, even if he phrased himself more diplomatically: "It was an amazing experience working with Tim. I think we kind of set the franchise back a little bit."
Another sign that Wahlberg doesn't have fond memories? He gave away the costume he wore in "Planet of the Apes." While speaking to /Film, writer-director Joe Cornish revealed how he learned of this costume's fate.
A Gift From The Planet Of The Apes
In Burton's "Apes," Wahlberg plays Leo Davidson. Like the original film's lead George Taylor (Charlton Heston), he's an astronaut who crash-lands on a planet full of, well, talking apes. Unlike Taylor, Leo wears his white astronaut spacesuit throughout the film, though it definitely takes on damage and dirt discoloration.
What did Wahlberg do with this costume? He gifted it to Peter Jackson, who directed him in 2009's "The Lovely Bones." Cornish learned this while he was working with Jackson on an unrealized script for a "Adventures of Tintin" sequel. As they wrote, a package arrived at the door. Cornish recalled:
"Me and Peter Jackson were working in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. There was a knock on the door, and somebody came in carrying a space suit, and it was Mark Wahlberg's space suit from 'Planet of the Apes.' It was a gift from him to Peter Jackson, because Peter's obsessed with apes and monkey movies."
"King Kong" is Jackson's favorite "monkey movie" — he cashed in his capital from "The Lord of the Rings" to remake it. However, "Planet of the Apes" has a place in his heart too.
Jackson's Fascination With Apes
In the biography "Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey" by Brian Sibley, Jackson recounts seeing the 1968 "Planet of the Apes" on TV for the first time as a child: "I saw 'Planet of the Apes' and was absolutely blown away by it. I loved the special make-up effects but I also loved the story." Jackson even cites this as the beginning of his interest in creating special effects, which he took to new heights in "The Lord of the Rings" — the groundbreaking motion-capture work to create Gollum (Andy Serkis) is a long ways off from the ape masks a young Peter Jackson molded. He also admits though, that, "My fascination is not really with apes and gorillas as much as with a couple of great movies that both happen to have apes in them."
In 1992, Jackson even pitched a new "Planet of the Apes" movie to 20th Century Fox. Jackson's pitch continued on from "Battle of the Planet of the Apes," depicting an Ape society in a cultural renaissance. Though this project fell through, we got "Heavenly Creatures" out of it.
Jackson wasn't directly involved in the 2010s "Planet of the Apes" trilogy, but his filmmaking influence casts a shadow over it. The CGI apes in that trilogy were the work of Weta FX, an effects shop Jackson co-founded in 1993. Andy Serkis, who plays that trilogy's lead Caesar, got the part because he proved himself as Hollywood's premier mo-cap actor by playing Gollum and Kong at Jackson's direction.
Even if Jackson still hasn't directed a "Planet of the Apes" movie, he should take joy not only in his memento courtesy of Wahlberg, but the recursive influence he had on the franchise which inspired his childhood self.
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The post Mark Wahlberg Gifted His Space Suit From Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes to Peter Jackson appeared first on /Film.