Andy Serkis to star in Planet of the Apes prequel

Ooh, Chimpanzee that! Andy Serkis, the nimble-bodied actor behind Gollum and King Kong, has been cast as the lead ape in the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel.

The film is titled Rise of the Apes and will star Serkis as a revolt-leading ape named Caesar. The casting was confirmed by 20th Century Fox VP of Corporate Communications Chris Petrikin on Twitter.

Petrikin stated that Serkis will re-team with effects house WETA, who previously transformed the actor in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and King Kong as the obsessed Gollum and soulful Kong. According to Slashfilm, most of the apes in this film will be similarly motion captured.

The Rupert Wyatt-directed film also stars James Franco as a young scientist who finds himself caught up in the war between human and apes. John Lithgow and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Freida Pinto will also feature in the film.

Writer Scott Frank’s original screenplay, titled Caesar, told the story of a group of scientists who develop a fleet of super-intelligent chimpanzees. The script was retooled by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa into a prequel to the classic 1968 film Planet of the Apes.

Discuss: The good news is that even if this film turns out to be terrible, it can’t possibly be worse than Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes. Monkey Abe Lincoln!

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