RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Getting Multiple Sequels, Andy Serkis and Rupert Wyatt to Return; Studio Fighting to Get Serkis an Oscar Nomination

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RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES slice

The film that surprised me the most this year was undoubtedly Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Going into the movie, I saw it as an unnecessary cash-in on the Planet of the Apes franchise that inexplicably starred James Franco. Much to my surprise, director Rupert Wyatt delivered one of the most emotional films of the year with a powerhouse performance by Andy Serkis in some of the best motion-capture these eyes have ever seen. With that, I’m happy to report that Fox is now officially moving forward with a sequel to the film as they’ve just closed a very hefty deal for Serkis to return and reprise his role as Caesar. Hit the jump for more, including who else is returning for the follow-up and news on Fox’s push for awards consideration for Serkis’ performance.

Andy-SerkisFox is planning multiple sequels to Apes, as Deadline reports that Serkis is the first actor to be locked in for the follow-up as well as future installments. Wyatt (who deserves a hefty amount of credit for Apes’ success) was already under contract for the sequel, so he’s back, as are screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. There’s no word on deals for James Franco or Freida Pinto, but the former’s arc had a nice ending to it with Apes, and the latter spoke about three sentences throughout the course of the entire film, so I wouldn’t be upset if they don’t return.

As for where the franchise goes in future installments, the story is still currently in the idea stage. Wyatt previously ruminated on where the sequel could pick up:

“You could start this story again eight years from where we left off, the next generation of apes, those that have come from our protagonists, perhaps going in to a conflict with humans and showing real fear, in the same way as going into war for young soldiers in this day and age, telling their story. Or how apes are taking over cities, and being moved into human environments and having to interact with them and deal with things that are part of our culture and understand and evolve through them. Spies that are in the employ of the apes, working against humans and humans maybe existing underground, because that’s a way they can avoid the virus, coming up above ground wearing gas masks, and maybe that’s what dehumanises them.”

andy-serkis-imageAll great ideas, and again here you can see how Wyatt doesn’t simply think in terms of spectacle or what will look cool, he’s all about the emotional aspects of the story. Since there’s no script, it’ll most likely be a while before we see the Apes sequel head into production. Then there’s the lengthy post-production process that will most certainly involve many more apes that need crafting.

Not only is Serkis getting a hefty payday to return to the franchise, Fox is now officially gunning for an Oscar nomination for the actor’s strong performance. This isn’t the first time a Serkis-lead motion-capture performance has garnered awards attention, as there was plenty of talk (and controversy) concerning his work as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. The jury’s still out on how the acting community as a whole feels about motion-capture performances being judged alongside live-action, but Serkis’ talent undeniably shines through his performance as Caesar. This is much, much more than cartoons, folks.

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  • Ryan

    Originally I had zero interest in this movie, I too thought it to be a pointless cash in. One of my friends dragged me to the theater and to my surprise not only was it entertaining but it had some heart and quickly became one of my favorite movies of the entire year.

  • Miss Mash

    Excellent news, lets hope they can surprise us again.

  • Chris Moore

    He deserved a nomination for Gollum more than anything, but I certainly hope he gets recognized for this. Maybe they’ll see it as a nomination for both Gollum and Caeser.

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  • Scurvy

    Caesar was a much more compelling character and a bigger role than Gollum.

    I felt like many people, initially I was underwhelmed with the trailers but the movie was excellent. I took my older brother to see it for his birthday since he is a huge Planet of the Apes fan and we were both pleasantly surprised.

  • aaronsullivan

    I went to this knowing that the reviews were pretty solid and I was still surprised at how much it grabbed ahold of me. Solid movie. Andy Serkis is a huge part of that. Caeser is the main character and he’s an ape and it works very well. How can you not recognize that performance?

  • Scurvy

    I’ll try to be vague here in case people haven’t seen it. If you weren’t moved in the slightest when Caesar does that drawing on the wall, you’re dead inside.

    The fact that a guy playing a CGI ape can get that type of emotional reaction from the audience without ever having to say a word is really quite profound.

    He was certainly the lead character but I don’t think he could win Best Actor. He’d be almost a lock for Best Supporting Actor but I think that would be a disservice to him considering how much he carried he entire movie.

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  • jp

    pumped!

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