Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the biggest surprises of 2011. Directed by relative newcomer Rupert Wyatt and delving back into a franchise that most people felt had long since died, the movie’s high quality helped it break out as a undeniable hit, grossing $176 million domestically. As tends to be the case, plans for a sequel were set into motion almost immediately and over the next few months Wyatt signed to return as director, star Andy Serkis was given a new deal and the original screenwriters, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, began to write the sequel to the prequel.

The Hollywood Reporter now says Scott Z. Burns, the writer behind Contagion, The Informant! and The Bourne Ultimatum, has signed to work on the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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Fox is already at work pulling together a film to follow Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which became a surprise audience and critical favorite this summer. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, writers on Rise, are writing the next film, which Wyatt is currently slated to direct.

We don’t know any specifics about the sequel at this point, despite the fact that Wyatt has said a lot of things about where it could possibly go. But the screenwriters recently made one comment that fans of the film might find interesting. That’s below, and I suppose it’s worth noting that really talking about their comment requires some spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Read More »

If you’ve seen either version of Planet of the Apes, the overall outcome of Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes shouldn’t have come as a huge shock — the end result is spelled out right there in the title, after all. But there was one key element of the ending that nearly turned out very differently, until a very late reshoot shifted the fate of one of its major characters. And given that the film ultimately wound up grossing $409 million worldwide, essentially guaranteeing a sequel or two, it was probably a pretty wise move on the part of the filmmakers. Read more about the alternate ending after the jump. (Spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes follow, obviously.)

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This past August, I had the opportunity to visit the Vancouver set of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is essentially a reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise. A lot has changed in the eight months since I visited the Apes set. As you know, the release dates have changed a few times, the title has morphed from Caesar, to “Caesar: Rise of the Apes” (which was the title they were using on set), to Rise of the Apes to the now even more-wordier title “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” After the jump you will find a video blog I recorded with Germain Lussier — who at the time was writing for Collider, but you now know him as one of the members of the /Film writing team. So even that has changed.

In our in-depth video blog, we talk about our experiences on the set of the film, including our tour of the sets from the movie, concept art demonstrations, interviews with the key cast and crew and more. Throughout the next week, I’ll also be posting transcripts of some of the interviews we conducted on set. After the jump you can also find a pretty lengthy conversation with producers Dylan Clark, Thomas Hammel, writer/producer Rick Jaffa and director Rupert Wyatt.

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The history of Rise of the Apes, the Planet of the Apes prequel to be directed by The Escapist‘s Rupert Wyatt, goes back a few years. It was set in motion at Fox by Scott Frank, who developed a script called Caesar, which was intended as “a hard science fiction film about humans that use science to create hyper-intelligent chimpanzees.” Obviously, the primary super-chimp created in the story is Caesar, and that creature sets in motion events that eventually lead to Planet of the Apes.

A few things have changed, with a new script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, but Caesar is still in the story with a primary role. And now he’ll be played by an actor with great simian experience: Andy Serkis. Read More »

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20th Century Fox has announced a June 24th 2011 release date for the Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. The Escapist helmer Rupert Wyatt will direct from a screenplay by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa

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Rupert Wyatt to Direct Planet of the Apes Prequel

Planet of the Apes

20th Century Fox has hired Rupert Wyatt to develop and direct a prequel to Planet of the Apes. Wyatt directed The Escapist which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival to medium buzz and decent reviews. I wasn’t taken by the movie, but I know it was one of Alex from FirstShowing’s favorite movies of that year. The screenplay, titled Caesar (named after the ape who leads the rebellion against the humans in Conquest), was written by screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Relic).

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