Apes: What's their damn problem? That's the question that film fans have been puzzling over for more than 40 years, thanks to the "Planet of the Apes" franchise.
But it's been more than a decade since angry apes last graced our movie screens, and thus we thought it would be a good time to look back -- to the future! -- so that when you sit down to watch "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" this weekend, you'll know exactly what those angry primates want besides a lifetime supply of bananas.
With that in mind, wrap your puny human brain around eight things you need to know about "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
1. It's Not a Sequel or a Reboot -- It's a Preboot
The original "Planet of the Apes," which came out back in 1968, was about an astronaut who traveled to a distant world ruled by super intelligent apes ... only to discover, in the end, that he was actually on Earth in the far future. But this latest version of the franchise,"Rise of the Planet of the Apes," take place in an alternate version of the present, making it neither a sequel nor a prequel -- and it's not a reboot, either -- but the rarest of them all: a preboot.
2. No Apes Were Harmed in the Making of This Movie
Don't worry, ASPCA, those primates flinging hammers in the trailer weren't hurt during the battle sequences, for one simple reason: They aren't real. In fact, unlike the previous "Planet of the Apes" movies, which featured actors in ape costumes, the newest one utilizes CGI. And naturally, if CGI characters are involved, then Andy Serkis is close at hand: The king of motion capture (see: Gollum in 'The Lord of the Rings") plays lead chimp Caesar.
3. The Ape Archenemy: Draco Malfoy?
Eagle-eyed film enthusiasts noticed a familiar face when the trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" arrived -- none other than Tom Felton, who for the past decade has played the "Harry Potter" kid you love to hate, Draco Malfoy. So what is he up to in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"? Turns out he's a jerk who unwittingly helps trigger the ape rebellion and the eventual destruction of mankind. That sounds about right.
4. Just What Is an Ape, Anyway?
While super-smart ape insurrectionist Caesar may be a chimp, many of his followers are gorillas and orangutans, leading us to wonder: What exactly is an "ape," anyway? Well, the dictionary defines "ape" as a large primate that lacks a tail (excepting, of course, you and me), a group that also includes gibbons. So now you know what to watch for.
5. 'Monkey Planet': Not a Discovery Channel Documentary
The "Planet of the Apes" brand has become so entrenched in pop culture worldwide that it's hard to imagine it under any other name. But the films are actually based on a 1963 French novel called "Les planet des singes." That, of course, translates to "Planet of the Apes" -- but the translated version of the novel went under the title "Monkey Planet" when it was first published in English. A good name for a Discovery Channel documentary, sure, but not so inspiring for a worldwide film phenomenon.
6. It's Their 'Planet,' We're Just Living in It
Speaking of worldwide film phenomena, film series like "Twilight," "Harry Potter" and "Transformers" still have a ways to go to replicate the incredible success of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise. Besides spawning four direct sequels, a remake and this new preboot, "Planet of the Apes" has also inspired a TV show, a cartoon, comic books, novels, games and numerous toys over the past four decades. Not bad for a bunch of damn dirty apes.
7. Mark Wahlberg: Ape Killer
This isn't the first time Hollywood has tried to recapture the "Planet of the Apes" magic. Back in 2001, auteur Tim Burton decided to try his hand at a summer blockbuster. He enlisted the equally unlikely choice of Mark Wahlberg to take on the lead role of an astronaut stranded in a world overrun by apes. The project, which went through numerous delays and alterations over a 13-year span before finally reaching the big screen, had everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Peter Jackson to James Cameron attached before Burton and Wahlberg finally took over. The film was a financial success but a critical failure, and plans for another ape film were scrapped -- until now.
8. Get Your One Arm off Me, You Damn Dirty Boulder!
James Franco has proven over the last few years that he can -- and will -- do just about anything, from soap operas to art shows to acclaimed films like "127 Hours." Now he's stepping into his biggest shoes yet as he tries to take over the franchise lead from the legendary Charlton Heston, who became a worldwide icon thanks to immortal lines like, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" But the experience apparently agrees with Franco: He's already working on another upcoming preboot, the Disney production "Oz: The Great and Powerful."