Since 2008 Screen Rant has been following the development of a new Planet of The Apes film – now called Caesar: Rise of the Apes. We’ve seen writer/director Scott Frank leave the project, and we’ve also watched as this proposed prequel to the 1968 Charlton Heston sci-fi classic teetered on the brink of cinematic death.

However, Rise of the Apes now has a new director attached and we have some new details that show how the film leads up to the 1968 original (and not the 2001 Tim Burton film).

Deadline Hollywood Reports that British director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) has now been hired to develop Rise of the Apes from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, which has become a passion project for former 20th Century Fox big cheese Peter Chernin.

Meanwhile, CHUD has uncovered some new plot details that tie the film into the same world as the Heston classic. Firstly, the site has a new synopsis for the film:

“Will is a doctor trying to cure Alzheimers, a disease that afflicts his father. He’s working with monkeys to create a benign virus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality. After his research is shut down he’s left with just one chimp, the child of his most promising subject, and Will raises him at home. Young Caesar is incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continues to mutate and evolve, looking less like a chimp and moving on from sign language to actual speech. Eventually Caesar ends up leading an army of apes in an uprising just as a catastrophe strikes mankind.”

CHUD also has some brief SPOILER-filled notes, which place Rise of the Apes in the same world as the original film and its sequels, ignoring the Tim Burton remake disaster:

  • The film begins with apes being captured, which is similar to the human hunting scene in the Heston film.
  • The script has TV newscasts which document the launch of a space craft called the Icarus, led by a Colonel Taylor. During the course of the film, the craft vanishes whilst going around the dark side of Mars. In the 1968 film, Heston played Taylor and the film begins with his craft crash-landing on a future earth.
  • The film ends with a climactic battle on a bridge – much like the finale of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Caesar’s mother is named Bright Eyes, which is what ape Dr. Zira calls Heston’s Taylor in the original film.

Check out CHUD for a few more details on the films plot.

It looks like Rise of the Apes is really picking up steam and although there is no start date (yet), it looks like it’s very close to getting the green light. The film has the potential to spawn multiple sequels, with the added bonus of either moving more copies of the original films and/or the opportunity to remake said originals (hopefully better than Burton did).

Whatever the case – Screen Rant will keep you posted on whatever happens with Caesar: Rise of the Apes.

Source: Deadline / CHUD