‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: Andy Serkis Talks About The Film’s Performance Capture

By June 29, 2014
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When Andy Serkis joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, a lot of people assumed that he’d be utilizing the performance capture technology he’s best known for to play a CG character in the movie. He is the go-to guy for motion capture work, after all, having played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings & Hobbit trilogies, Caesar in the two most recent Planet of the Apes films, King Kong in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, and Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.

But he’s also appeared in movies without the aid of motion capture work. He was excellent in a supporting role in Christopher Nolan’s magician thriller The Prestige, and his filmography is full of non-mo-cap stuff over the past few years. So how will we see him in a galaxy far, far away? Well, that’s still up for debate. Check out Serkis’ quotes from a recent interview with SciFi Now (via /Film):

It’s extraordinary. I grew up with Star Wars and was a massive fan of the original films. I never imagined in a million years that I’d be engaging with this. It’s just come about so organically.

JJ Abrams and I met, and we just had this incredible kind of vibe between us. He said, ‘You’d fit really well in this universe,’ and I said, ‘I think I probably could.’ We’re working very closely, as I say, in two ways: the Imaginarium is providing all of the performance characters, and I myself am playing a character in it.

I’m thrilled, deeply excited,” he continued. “Sitting at that read-through the other day was just extraordinary. It was an amazing event; being with the original cast was just incredible. I just think the script is so wonderful, and both the old and the newbies in the cast are just so thrilled and excited to get together.

RISE OF THE APES

The Imaginarium (not to be confused with the one belonging to Doctor Parnassus) is Serkis’ performance capture company, and as much as Abrams and his team are giving the impression that there will be as many practical effects as possible, it wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie if it didn’t push the limits of technology, so it makes sense that they’d want to include some motion capture work with new characters moving forward. But if you look at Serkis’ quote, he doesn’t technically specify whether or not he’ll be playing a performance capture character.

I’m just glad Serkis is overseeing the performance capture work that will be used in these movies. I don’t personally need to see him play another mo-cap creature, and I think it’d actually be a cool progression in his career if he didn’t get pigeonholed as “that mo-cap guy” and could actually appear as his normal self on screen in Episode VII. But that’s just me – what do you think? Let us know below!

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.