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.

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