Andy Serkis has been cast as Ceasar, the main ape in Fox’s upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes, in a performance capture role. The news was broke in the form of a tweet from the studio saying “This is cool. Gollum reteams with Weta. Andy Serkis to star as Ceaser in “Rise of the Apes” portraying chimp who leads the simian revolt.” Serkis is best known for his performance capture portrayal of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. As referenced in the tweet, Serkis’ role of Gollum was made possible by Jackson’s effect house Weta Digital, who will also work on Apes. The film will co-star James Franco, Freida Pinto and John Lithgow under the direction of Rupert Wyatt.
Serkis’ role of Ceasar won’t be his first primate role, as Serkis played King Kong through performance capture for Jackson’s 2005 remake. Serkis will next be seen in John Landis’ Burke and Hare (live-action) alongside Simon Pegg and in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (performance capture). For more on Rise of the Apes continue reading. Rise of the Apes is expected to be released June 24, 2011.
Rise of the Apes will follow a scientist played James Franco who is working on a cure for Alzheimer’s and testing it on apes. The potential cure causes the test subject “Caesar” to evolve rapidly and Franco must protect him from the doctors who want to harm the animal. Little does Franco know that trying to find a cure of Alzheimer’s and protecting a defenseless ape will lead to the destruction of human civilization. Lithgow will play Franco’s Alzheimer’s stricken father and motivation for finding a cure. Pinto will play a primatologist.