Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis might have one of the most unique and sought after talents in the world of film today. But it has nothing to do with his live-action persona. It’s all about his ability to be expressive with performance capture. With roles as Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Kong in King Kong, it’s no surprise that Fox has tapped him to play Caesar, the chimp who leads the simian revolt in Rise of the Apes.

20th Century Fox made the announcement today on Twitter, saying that Serkis will re-team with the immensely talented folks at Weta Digital to create Caesar. The film will be set in present day San Francisco, prior to the events of the original Planet of the Apes. It will follow the work of a scientist whose genetic engineering experiments lead to the development of intelligent apes, leading to a war for domination of the planet. Spoiler alert: I’m pretty sure the apes are going to win this one…

Weta is said to be putting plans together to make the apes in the film photo-realistic, which would diverge even from the practical effects delivered in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake. CGI, photo-real apes. It’s an interesting notion. One that carries with it many risks. Though it’s clear that until we see some apes in action, we won’t know just how seamless they are going to be.

Rise of the Apes is directed by Rupert Wyatt and will star James Franco, John Lithgow and Freida Pinto. It’s scheduled for release on June 24, 2011.

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