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Andy Serkis continues to dominate as the king of motion capture; his latest turn in this summer’s The Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the central reason keeping the movie from being a cheese bomb. (Don’t argue, it’s true).
What once was a project being mocked by many (including this writer), now has turned into a $450-million-plus winner for 20th Century Fox. As such, it’s no surprise that the studio and Serkis have struck a massive deal for him to return to the revitalized “Apes” franchise.
While no number has been disclosed, Deadline notes it as a “healthy seven-figure deal” for Serkis to reprise the role of Caesar, the son of a genetically altered Chimpanzee who was raised by humans before triggering a revolution against them. Seeing as Serkis was only signed for one film despite being the central source of praise for “Rise,” Fox was intent on securing his place for future installments.
Original director Rupert Wyatt as well as screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are already locked for a sequel (per their original contracts) and all other casting is up for grabs. Stars James Franco and Frieda Pinto are not yet set to return, if they will at all. The push for more films and acquiring Serkis for said films has triggered a push by Fox to campaign him for Oscar glory, though the Academy has largely ignored CG-based performances, notably Serkis’ turn as Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings.” Not to mention, you have to give credit to the animators who helped Serkis bring his performance to the screen. Here’s hoping that Serkis’ contract involved input on the titles of future projects. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is still a crappy title.