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July 27th release date coming too quickly for production?

By Frank Kurtz     July 17, 2001

Mark Wahlberg on the run from a horde of battle crazed apes in PLANET OF THE APES
© 2001 20th Century Fox

There are rumblings that suggest that Tim Burton's PLANET OF THE APES isn't done yet, while time quickly runs out to its release date. According to, the project is still going through last minute effects work and cutting, allegedly resulting in a two-day delay of the film's screening for critics.

While talking to the site, 20th Century Fox vice chairman Bob Harper spoke of the situation, saying, "We were in the lab all weekend long. We've never done a film on this tight a schedule."

Harper is said to have told the site that the picture is 3-4 days behind schedule, mainly due to post-production special effects work. The site further reports that the work being done isn't necessarily those of CG artists with word that a live-action sequence of a rocket crash had been reshot for the film last week.

In addition, the site reports that studio executives have requested changes to Danny Elfman's soundtrack in hopes of making it more "heroic." One unnamed source is quoted as saying, "They wanted to be able to sell the film as a sci-fi GLADIATOR."

Meanwhile, is reporting that as a result of the delays on the film, the planned Fox TV special, PLANET OF THE APES: RULE THE PLANET, may not happen at all. The reason cited is that director Tim Burton still has to stay focused on getting the film done rather than sitting down to promote it.

Still, on Monday the Fox TV network did issue a press release on the half-hour special, which, they say, will be an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of PLANET OF THE APES and will feature an interview with director Tim Burton about his career and his re-imagining of APES. It will also include an introduction to new characters, a segment on special hair and make-up effects and a look at what PLANET OF THE APES has meant as a pop-cultural phenomenon to various celebrities, including Trey Parker & Matt Stone (SOUTH PARK), LA Lakers player Rick Fox and the stars of the original version, Charlton Heston and Linda Harrison. That program is scheduled to hit the tube on Wednesday, July 25 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.


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