A Planet Of The Apes Stunt-Gone-Wrong Sent Kris Kristofferson And Michael Clarke Duncan To The Hospital

During the original press junket for the film, Kris Kristofferson told Hollywood.com about a dangerous fight scene involving a spear. Before being killed by the menacing General Thade (Tim Roth), Kristofferson’s human character Karubi squares up against the hulking Colonel Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan) while trying to protect his daughter Daena (Estella Warren). The result wasn’t pretty and both actors paid the price. Kristofferson described the brawl, saying:

“I had to run at Michael Clarke Duncan with the spear, and we had a big collision at one point. I didn’t put him in the hospital, hitting the ground put him in the hospital. I was lucky ’cause my head hit the ground too. It split open, it was bleeding, only I already had a fake wound up there so they couldn’t see it.”

Fortunately, 2001’s “Planet of the Apes” is remembered for the emotive performances the actors deliver underneath all those makeup prosthetics, and not a tragic accident. Kristofferson had to go the hospital, too, and had a bizarre encounter that adds a much needed punchline to the story. “It turned out my best friend’s ex-wife was the doctor. Very surreal experience.”

10 years later, the groundbreaking motion capture effects in Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the first film in the highly successful prequel trilogy, ushered in an entirely new vision of our world turned upside down. Inevitably, the breakthroughs in visual effects ended up replacing the iconic makeup first originated by “Apes” creator John Chambers. The move to CGI even eventually led Rick Baker to retire from the business altogether. Thankfully, through all the iterations over the years, Kristofferson’s close call didn’t end up becoming a tragic addition to the “Apes” legacy. 

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