Andy Serkis is best known for his work in front of the camera, imbuing visual effects-driven characters like Gollum and Caesar with weight and inner life using performance capture technology. But he has some experience behind the camera as well, having directed the second unit of all three of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films.
Now the actor is making his official directorial debut with Breathe, an inspiring true story starring Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Claire Foy (The Crown) as a couple who must overcome incredible odds just to regain the semblance of a normal life together after one of them contracts polio. The movie’s second trailer has arrived, so check it out below and see what you think about Serkis’s potential as a director.
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As an innovator in the field of motion capture technology, Andy Serkis might possess a greater understanding of the nuances and capabilities of the human face than anyone working in cinema. The knowledge shows early on in Breathe, Serkis’ directorial debut, as Andrew Garfield’s protagonist Robin Cavendish begins to succumb to paralysis from polio. Serkis shoots his affliction primarily in extreme close-up, a camera length at which Garfield is more than capable at conveying nuance. With just the slightest shift of his glance or the quiver of his lip, Garfield conveys as much as his grandest gestures in other films.
Unsurprisingly, Garfield nails the immediate micro-level specificity necessitated by portraying someone with such a debilitating condition. He’s robbed of so many key acting tools: the scope to take in an entire scene, the ability to react in full, the emphasis in his extremities. Yet within this tightly proscribed frame, Garfield still manages the full expressive capabilities for which has garnered great acclaim. In Breathe, he captures that same moving range from elation to depression.
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Over the years, actor Andy Serkis has developed some major projects to direct. An adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Fox’s update on the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin have both interested the War For the Planet of the Apes star. He is, of course, in post-production on what we thought was going to be his directorial debut, Jungle Book: Origins, which was delayed once or twice and received assistance from Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity). And that brings us to actor’s first directorial effort to actually hit theaters, Breathe, which is based on a true story and stars Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy.
Below, watch the Breathe trailer.
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