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PETA honours Wyatt for animal-friendly Planet of the Apes movie

The filmmaker used computer-generated imagery (CGI) to depict the animals in the new sci-fi drama because he felt uncomfortable with the idea of employing live chimps for the movie.

Explaining his decision at the recent Comic-Con event, he said, “We wanted to tell our story without using live apes for any number of reasons. It would be a cruel irony to tell the story of the exploited and repressed and use live apes to do so.”

And Wyatt’s moral stance has earned the movie its first honour before it’s even released – officials at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have named the director the recipient of the Proggy (Progressive) Award for Most Animal-Friendly Feature Film.

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PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange says, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes reminds viewers that animals are feeling beings who deserve compassion, and its stunning use of CGI shows that there’s no need to subject apes to the stress of filmmaking. Rupert Wyatt’s methods back up PETA’s message that apes should be protected and respected.”

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco, opens across the U.S. later this week (05Aug11).

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