Andy Serkis Goes Simian Again: Cast As Caesar In Planet Of The Apes Prequel

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.

Chris Petrikin, Fox's VP of Corporate Communications, tweeted earlier today:

This is cool: Gollum reteams with Weta. Andy Serkis to star as Caesar in "Rise of the Apes," portraying chimp who leads the simian revolt.

So, Serkis as the mo-capped leader of the chimps? I don't think there'll be any argument that it's a great idea. As we understand it, most of the chimps and apes in the film will be rendered by WETA — certainly the 'enhanced' animals will be.

We've previously run a synopsis for the film, which also stars James Franco, John Lithgow and Freida Pinto with Don Cheadle rumored for a role:

RISE OF THE APES (tentative title) is 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.

Franco is the lead, "a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes." Lithgow will play Franco's Alzheimer's-stricken father, and Pinto is Caroline, the film's female lead who is a primatologist.