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Andy Serkis cast in Rise Of The Apes

Planet Of The Apes

Andy Serkis has joined James Franco’s Planet Of The Apes prequel as the film’s lead monkey.

In Rise Of The Apes , Serkis will play Caesar, an animal upon whom Franco’s scientist is testing in search for a cure for Alzheimer’s.

But when Caesar suddenly begins to evolve rapidly, the scientist takes the chimp into his own home and away from the prying eyes of the laboratory.

20th Century Fox revealed the casting through a Tweet (what else?), posting:

“This is cool. Gollum reteams with Weta. Andy Serkis to star as Ceaser in Rise of the Apes portraying chimp who leads the simian revolt.”

Which in about the space of 140 characters suddenly shot our interest in this project up into the stratosphere.

Tim Burton’s stab at the Apes franchise left us cold and a little annoyed. But this new concept, with Serkis’ monkey seeming set to bring about the end of humanity as we know it, has all kinds of promise.

Still, it’s a shame that the production is relying on CGI, rather than popping the Gollum actor in a suit and letting him actually monkey about on-screen for once. The original (and still best) flick did as much, and is all the better for it.

But we know Weta and Serkis are a winning combination, the latter proving adept at body language, the former at imbuing CGI with emotion and subtlety.

Other cast members already onboard include Freida Pinto and John Lithgow as Franco's colleague and father respectively, with Rupert Wyatt directing.

Rise Of The Apes opens on 24 June, 2011.

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