James Franco plays a scientist who inadvertently creates a Chimp Guevara.
Details Release Date: Aug 05, 2011; Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: James Franco; Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Caesar's uprising starts off small, as he directs his captive brethren to flee the research facility. ''It becomes in many ways like an escape movie,'' says director Rupert Wyatt, who would know, having directed 2009's The Escapist. Along the way, Caesar enlists the help of Maurice, an orangutan who knows sign language, and a big bruiser of a chimp named Rocket. ''They all have very distinctive looks and qualities to them,'' says Wyatt. ''It's an A-Team of apes.'' —Keith Staskiewicz
2- THE CHANGE UP
An R-rated body-swap movie with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds.
Release Date: Aug 05, 2011; Genre: Comedy; With: Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds; Distributor: Universal Pictures.
Jason Bateman knows what you're thinking. Another body-swapping movie? Really? He had precisely that reaction too. ''But in the same sentence that I was told what the movie is about,'' he recalls, ''they said, 'But the guys who wrote The Hangover wrote it, and the guy who directed Wedding Crashers is directing it.' And I thought, 'Ah, I get it.' Because no one's ever done the R-rated version of that story.'' Well, they have now. Instead of family-friendly mother-daughter high jinks, the mischief involves a womanizing bachelor (Ryan Reynolds) who trades bodies with his married pal (Bateman) — and may even get it on with his pal's wife. ''They each covet the other person's life,'' says Reynolds. What's the cause of the magical swap? ''As you typically do when you switch bodies with your best buddy, we were pissing in a fountain that happened to contain mystical powers,'' he says. ''It's preposterous. It's just the stupidest thing ever, but it's all in the execution.'' For Bateman, who's made a career out of playing responsible, put-upon heroes, The Change-Up offers an opportunity to channel his rowdier side. ''I remember that guy from my 20s,'' he says. ''I just had to dust him off a little bit and away we went.'' And what was it like to essentially play Ryan Reynolds in a movie? ''Never have I felt prettier.'' —Dave Karger
The beloved novel about early-1960s Mississippi gets the cinematic treatment.
Release Date: Aug 12, 2011; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Drama; With: Emma Stone; Distributor: Wal Disney Pictures.
That evening, Stone, armed with an email from her mother summarizing the book, walked into the bar of Manhattan's Four Seasons restaurant to see director Tate Taylor. Taylor, for his part, had someone very specific in mind for the role of frazzle-haired Skeeter, the gawky college graduate who starts secretly interviewing a few brave women about their fraught experiences with their white employers. ''My prototype was loosely based on Joan Cusack at 22,'' he says. ''To me that was Skeeter.''
Within minutes of meeting Stone, Taylor knew he had found just the woman for the role. ''Emma was completely awkward and dorky, with her raspy voice,'' he says, ''and she sat down and we got a little intoxicated and had a blast, and I just thought, 'God! God! This is Skeeter.''' The next time they went out for drinks, Stockett, Taylor's best friend since kindergarten, came along and gave her blessing to the casting choice as well.
Stockett and Taylor grew up together in Jackson, Miss., and were themselves cared for and loved by black housekeepers. (Carol Lee, the woman who helped raise Taylor, has a small role in the film.) Taylor was one of the first people to read Stockett's manuscript for the book and even optioned the film rights before publication. Stockett had decided that Taylor — whose last directorial effort, 2009's Pretty Ugly People, grossed less than $7,000 at the box office — was the only person who could properly adapt a screenplay and direct a movie version. ''Then the book came out,'' remembers Taylor, ''and all the sharks of Hollywood were like, 'Oh my God, we want the rights!' But Kathryn called me and was like, 'F--- 'em all, we're doing it!'''
From that call on, the stars have literally aligned for Taylor. Joining Stone in the cast is a deep bench of talent. Viola Davis plays stoic maid Aibileen; Cicely Tyson plays Skeeter's childhood maid Constantine, now mysteriously absent; Allison Janney plays Skeeter's rigid mother; and Sissy Spacek plays the mother of Skeeter's even more uptight society friend, Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard). And then there's Octavia Spencer, who plays the tart-tongued maid Minny. Though the studio pushed hard for Taylor to cast a bigger name in that showy role, the director fought hard for Spencer, whom he'd met when they were both working as production assistants on 1996's A Time to Kill. (Later, the fast friends would go on to share an apartment in L.A. for four years.) In fact, the character of Minny was partly based on Spencer, whom Stockett had met through Taylor. ''She is Minny,'' Taylor says.
The director went yet another round with the studio in order to shoot The Help in his home state. ''We dumped, like, 17 million bucks into a very poor county in Mississippi,'' he says proudly. ''This movie is magical. I've already prepared myself that this whole experience is once in a lifetime.'' —Karen Valby.
4-30 MINUTES OR LESS
A twisty crime comedy starring Danny McBride, Jesse Eisenberg, and Aziz Ansari.
Release Date: Aug 12, 2011; Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy; With: Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride; Distributor: Columbia Pictures.
Some of those directions lead Eisenberg's Everydude to finally confront his own unrealized goals, including a romance with the sister (Dilshad Vadsaria) of his best friend (Aziz Ansari). ''My character spends the first 25 years of his life being lazy, and then one day making up for it,'' says Eisenberg, who appeared in Fleischer's 2009 movie, Zombieland. ''He has this extreme experience and uses that day to correct all the mistakes he's made.''
30 Minutes also let Eisenberg realize one of his secret goals — working with comic Nick Swardson (Just Go With It), who plays McBride's partner in crime. ''I've had a head shot of Nick up in my bedroom since I was 14,'' admits Eisenberg. ''I saw him on a TV show called Make Me Laugh. I watched it over and over and memorized his stand-up comedy.'' So how did Swardson react when Eisenberg shared his fan behavior? ''Nick was very, um, flattered and very sweet. And creeped out.'' —Adam Markovitz
5-CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Jason Momoa steps in for Schwarzenegger in this reboot.
Details Release Date: Aug 19, 2011; Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Rose McGown and Jason Momoa; Distributor: Lionsgate.