Andy Serkis is Caesar in ‘Rise of the Apes’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 11th, 2013 at 4:06 am,

Could it be considered type-casting at this point? English actor Andy Serkis – famous for motion-capture performances like Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and the title character in the King Kong remake – will once again don a spandex suit adorned with ping-pong balls – this time portraying Caesar in Rise of the Apes, the Planet of the Apes prequel.

Caesar is the test subject for a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer’s. Unexpectedly, the ape begins to evolve at an alarming rate and sets in motion the chain of events that lead to an ape revolt.

20th Century Fox’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, Chris Petrikin, revealed Serkis’ involvement through his Twitter account yesterday:

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.

Serkis joins a cast that includes James Franco as the desperate scientist, John Lithgow as his Alzheimer’s- stricken father, and Frieda Pinto as a primatologist presumably helping with the experiments. Rise of the Apes will be directed by Rupert Wyatt  from a script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

Rise of the Apes will incorporate real animals and some prosthetic work, however the majority of the apes will be digitally rendered by the talented folks over at WETA. Of course there’s an over abundance of movie CGI these days, and having CGI apes is also a dramatic deviation from tradition of the these Apes films, it also makes perfect sense, given the nature of the story. Considering that WETA’s work in the past has been nothing short of incredible, I’m not particularly worried.

I can’t help but wonder where Rise of the Apes fits in with the franchise as a whole. Particularly because it sounds more like a reboot than a prequel, since it is ostensibly rewriting the origin story depicted in the fourth film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. That film wasn’t entirely accurate either though, as it contradicted elements of Caesar’s back story previously established by the franchise. I suppose they could just ignore Conquest, but Rise really does sound like the start of a brand new series, if you think about it.

Regardless, Serkis is an obvious and terrific choice to play Caesar, and although I initially dismissed this film as somewhat ridiculous, I’m slowly warming up to it. They’ve assembled an interesting cast and I thoroughly enjoyed the director’s previous film, The Escapist.

Are you excited about Andy Serkis joining the cast of Rise of the Apes? What are your thoughts on the film so far? The movie is set for release on June 24, 2011.

Source: Twitter via /Film.

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  1. I love Andy Serkis as a actor/character actor, and no doubts about the imagery that the WETA workshop can provide.. I am just not sold on the fact that the “Apes” series is one we needed to revisit/reboot/revive.

  2. That’s just great news! :-) One more reason to see this movie.

  3. Very nice.

  4. i hope this film removes itself from tim burtons film. nice news

    • Strangely enough, that’s one of the very few Burton films I actually do enjoy lol. Although I don’t want him anywhere near this one.

  5. Good developments, one to watch.

  6. The news on this just keeps getting better and better. So excited – Serkis + WETA on a reboot of one of my favorite franchises = inevitable win.

  7. i think the only good thing about the Burton rmeake was the makeup, no CGI used here. what made the original 1969 POTA work is that it sold us on the idea of evolved apes, walking upright and so forth. trying to go for a realistic ape-look approach takes the imagination out of it…the mystery. the rise of the POTA may be written well, but once we see a too
    realistic type of ape(s) i believe the interest will be lost. Ceaser should look evolved, majestic yet menancing. the ending scene in conquest of the POTA show roddy mcdowall climactic performance and it was incredible. give us that.