Rise of the Apes gains cast
The casting has begun on Rise of the Apes, the modern prequel and complete rewrite of the beginning of the apes taking over the world that lead to the franchise of Planet of the Apes.
There's only one name involved so far, but it's a strong casting and a central role, although since it's not yet clear exactly how much of the film will be focusing on the birth of the first ape and not the actual rise of an army, I'm not entirely sure how large the part will be.
Rise of the Apes is set to rewrite the genesis of the apes that we saw in the final Planet of the Apes film, instead of the two key apes returning from the future to our present day and giving birth to their son, whom they call Ceaser – that was the name of the first ape that they all worshipped in the future – the first ape is now going to be genetically engineered by man.
While the story fits with modern technology I do have a problem because it's totally ignoring the set-up made in the previous films. What this means to me is that it has to be a prequel to the Planet of the Apes from Tim Burton and no other.
Well, actually it does mean that they could just be thinking to hell with the original franchise set-up, we're just going with our own anyway.
Rupert Wyatt is going to direct the film, and since he did such a great job of The Escapist (Filmstalker review) I do have some high hopes for him, but the key is the first cast member, James Franco, according to the The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision story.
He will play the scientist who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's disease which is being tested on apes and actually increases their intelligence on one ape called Ceaser, and increase it rapidly.
The scientist takes the ape home to live with him among his family, hiding him from the doctors who want to dissect him and discover what made him this way. That's an interesting turn as well, because that does mirror many of the themes of the original story, but turned on its head.
No other word on casting, but expect more soon.