You Damned Dirty Prequel! Fox Schedules New “Planet Of The Apes”

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The last time there was a new “Planet of the Apes” movie, we got a version directed by Tim Burton at the very height of his mailing-it-in phase. Burton fell in love with Helena Bonham Carter on the set of that movie, and I’ve always had an odd feeling he makes her wear her ape makeup from that flick around the house at all times. And he makes her dress in black, because he’s all dark and scarrrrry like that.

Anyway, Fox has decided to go back to the Ape well one more time, with a new “Planet of the Apes” movie. And you can’t blame them, because who can resist a good monkey movie? MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY! This one could be considered a prequel, given that it’s about how the ape people came to dominate Earth. But really, this version fits in nicely with the spate of rebooted franchises soon to litter your theater. Here’s a clip from the press release:

Twentieth Century Fox has set a June 24, 2011 release for RISE OF THE APES, a completely new take on one of the Studio’s most beloved and successful franchises. Oscar-winning visual effects house WETA Digital – employing certain of the groundbreaking technologies developed for AVATAR – will render, for the first time ever in the film series, photo-realistic apes rather than costumed actors….

Acclaimed filmmaker Rupert Wyatt (“The Escapist”) is directing from a screenplay by Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa, who also are producing.

RISE OF THE APES (tentative title) is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Jaffa and Silver have not written a feature movie since “The Relic,” all the way back in 1997. Holy ape. That’s incredible. Thirteen years in the wilderness, and suddenly these two are producing some giant summer movie? Hollywood is so weird.

Anyway, I think the switch to digital apes is a good one (though done with little over a year of lead time? With no casting yet? Uhhhhh). Though my suggestion of having Tom Sizemore play all the apes without needed makeup was turned down by the studio. And the word AVATAR in that release means this one will almost certainly be done in 3D. So LOOGOUT! SWINGIN’ APES COMIN’ AT YA!

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