PLANET OF THE APES Reboot is Still On at 20th Century Fox

     January 22, 2010

Planet of the Apes.jpgGood news Planet of the Apes fans, it appears a reboot of the classic film franchise may in fact be moving forward.  While the project was originally thought to be dead, reports indicate that Twentieth Century Fox is eager to get a new film underway.  Sources close to the project have said, “…the studio is now more determined than ever to make the film”

Initial speculation about the film not happening came when writer Scott Frank (Minority Report, Marley & Me) left the project.  Many thought this was the end of Planet of the Apes, but as it turns out the opposite may be true.  Fox has turned the project over to producer Peter Chernin and hired writer Jamie Moss (Street Kings) to revise Frank’s version.  Furthermore, scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (The RelicThe Hand that Rocks the Cradle), have returned to the fold to polish the dialogue.

Hit the jump to find out what direction the new Planet of the Apes might take.

While Fox originally wanted to pursue a different story when Frank wrote his script (code named “Caesar“) now, “…the studio wants to make the Caesar project, post haste”

So, just what can we expect from this new tale?

planet_limited_packaging__small_.jpg“Frank’s Apes script, code-named Caesar, showed how genetic experiments on apes led to their evolutionary eclipse of humans. “Caesar” refers to the genetically altered leader of the simian rebellion, so dubbed because the ape was capable of grand strategic thinking on par with Julius Caesar (whose own surname means “hairy” in Latin). The “Caesar” code name also foreshadowed the script’s plot: Just as the actual Julius Caesar set Rome on the path to the Roman Empire, the experimental ape’s escape sets in motion his fellow hirsute hominids’ (wait for it … ) guerrilla war and subsequent dominance.”

While the original film started with a planet populated by Apes out of the gate, it will be interesting to see how this origin film plays out.  However, if anyone can make it happen it’s certainly Chernin.  The producer has been championing a reboot since 1992 when he paid Oliver Stone a million dollars to produce a Return of the Apes film.  In fact, Fox is so confident in Chernin, and the script they have, it is likely a director will be hired immediately.

While Tim Burton’s 2001 remake left us with a somewhat enigmatic ending, Planet of the Apes is certainly a franchise worth investing in.  Sure, a lot of jokes have been made at the film’s expense but there’s a noteworthy story to be told.  Having watched all the films back-to-back, I found myself taken in by the unsung complexity of the story.  I know, that’s something you may not hear often regarding Planet of the Apes, but I personally have no doubt that in the right hands this could be a blockbuster series.

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