New Planet of the Apes Project Comes Into Focus

Perhaps it is my love for a little old school sci-fi, or the fact that I am currently working my way through all five of the original Planet of the Apes movies on Blu-ray, but the prospect of another Apes movie is music to my ears. Further music can be heard when we inspect the details of this project, details that show an Apes reboot of sorts that could be very, very interesting.

The story began almost exactly a month ago when CHUD reported that a different sort of Apes reboot was in the works. The powers that be at Fox were getting very interested in a reboot of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which was originally a prequel to the first Apes film. The idea was to bring back the story of Caesar, the first ape who stood up and started fighting back against a futuristic, fascist human society.

Then earlier this week Production Weekly listed the film in its latest issue under the name Caesar, with Scott Frank (The Lookout) in the director’s chair. Sources from inside the studio were indicating that Fox was still very interested in the project and that they had put in the hands of Frank. This raised all sorts of questions in the minds of movie journos across the web, most notably CHUD’s Devin Faraci, who hit the streets to find out the real story. As it turns out, what we knew about Apes: Genesis was almost true, except for the part about it being a remake.

Devin at CHUD explains:

Caesar is not a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. This is a fact that Frank can’t stress to you enough – his film will not feature talking monkeys, and it will not end with chimpanzees running wild in the streets, taking over the world. But it isn’t entirely divorced from the world of Planet of the Apes, either. In fact, Frank sees his movie as the opening chapter in a saga that could span the thousand years between today and a world where apes rule.

The report also goes on to talk about Frank’s desire to tell a hard science fiction story, science that “creates a hyper-intelligent chimpanzee is based on current real world research.” From where I am sitting this is a win in multiple regards. On one hand, to go this direction really pays homage to the original films. And on the other, it would be nice to see some sci-fi that tries to ground itself in reality for a change.

I don’t know about all of you, but I am still excited about this project — it sounds like the right way to bring the Planet of the Apes franchise back into prominence, similar to the way other franchises have been successfully rebooted — you take a familiar universe and bring in a new angle and/or tone. It has worked before, and it may work again. That is, if the damn dirty apes have their way.

Based on the information we now know about this Apes project, are you interested or not interested?