Andy Serkis has just signed a reportedly lucrative deal to reprise the role of Caesar in a Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel. He joins director Rupert Wyatt, who was already tied into a sequel from his first picture deal, and writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
As there’s no set script or probably even story direction yet, Fox don’t seem to be racing to sign James Franco or Freda Pinto. As it stands, their characters might not return, though I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Franco back in the frame. The relationship between his character and Caesar were integral to what made the first film work, and it might seem odd to skew off from this too sharply.
Having said that, none of Rupert Wyatt’s initial ideas for the sequel would seem to require Franco’s contribution at all, and it’s certainly Serkis who is the real star here.
I say go odd, skew off, jump forward a few years and tell us a new story, not just a slightly ornamented version of the last one. Bring on the Full Metal Apes, say I.
Indeed, Deadline are questioning whether or not Fox “should” spend time and money on campaigning for an Oscar for Serkis’ portrayal of Caesar. You see, it’s sometimes easy to forget, but it doesn’t matter how much Serkis might deserve recognition for the role, it’s unlikely he’d get it from the Academy without an expensive For Your Consideration campaign.