Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 by Peter Sciretta
It looks like 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel/reboot is getting retitled, yet again. When the project was first announced the script was titled Ceasar, a reference to the character in the fourth Apes movie, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, who perpetrates the Ape revolt. The project was later named Caesar: Rise of the Apes, and then more simply, Rise of the Apes, in the early marketing/publicity materials. But apparently Fox wanted to keep the title more in line with the previous installments to the francise.
The new title of the movie is Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Expect to see the title on the first movie trailer, which is expected to hit theaters on April 15th 2011. CBM was the first to report the new title, which I have confirmed with Fox. I actually saw fans in early comments and talkbacks for the film complaining that the title didn’t match the rest of the titles in the franchise. Now it will. Its a bit too wordy for my tastes, but it accomplishes the marketing tasks at hand. Your thoughts?
James Franco (Spider-Man/Milk) plays “a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.” Other co-stars include John Lithgow, who plays Franco’s father, also a scientist, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), who plays a primatologist who helps Franco, Brian Cox will play “the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary who runs the facility without compassion for the animals that live there,” and Andy Serkis, who will play Caesar, the chimp who leads the simian revolt. David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, A Sound of Thunder, Derailed) has been offered the role of Steve Jacobs, the board of directors who announces phase 2, clinical trials. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) plays the son of Brian Cox’s character, who is “the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary who runs the facility without compassion for the animals that live there.”
Fox has released the official plot synopsis:
…an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
The screenplay is written by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa. Fox’s Tom Rothman has said that it is “a kind of prequel story before the first story, with a return to the social thematics that mark the first one, but with an entirely contemporary setting – Earth 2009.” The film won’t have talking monkeys and will not end with chimps taking over Earth. Instead the film will be a hard science fiction film about humans that use science to create hyper-intelligent chimpanzees.