2011: The summer of the ape, it would seem. There’s a little monkey filling in for anything resembling a new joke in “The Hangover Part II,” Jackie Chan‘s CGI simian returns in “Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom,” we’re sure Johnny Depp‘s cheeky nemesis will return in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” appears to have been written by a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters. And all of that before “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” lands on August 5th. But the one that we’re really looking forward to is “Project Nim.”
As the follow-up to James Marsh‘s exemplary documentary “Man on Wire,” the film is one of our most anticipated pictures of the summer, and has been ever since the rave reviews arrived at Sundance — it landed on our list of summer alternatives last week, and now a trailer has arrived over the weekend that’s only solidified our excitement.
Following the Nim of the title, who was taken from the wild and placed with a human family, and taught sign language, the clip might give away a little too much of the narrative for our liking, but it also highlights some of the complex questions that the film seems to be raising, about the line between man and beast, and the ethics of scientific experimentation on animals, while carrying across the humanity that made “Man on Wire” so exceptional. The film lands in theaters, courtesy of Roadside Attractions, on July 8th, and you can check the trailer out below (or in HD over at Apple) There’s also a fairly awful poster for the film, but the less said about that the better.