A few months back I was discussing Fantastic Fest with Sir Devin Faraci, and he professed to me that one of the films he was most looking forward to -- was something 25 years old! Yes, Devin is a HUGE Planet of the Apes fan, so he was elated to see the "unseen cut" of J. Lee Thompson's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Mega-geeked, in fact.

So when it comes to new info on this long-running franchise, I put much stock in Faraci's ravings. Here's the short version: It looks like there will be an Apes prequel that starts off before the original film. And by "original film," I assume they mean the 1968 one. And then we hear from Cinema Blend (who got it from Production Weekly) that not only is the prequel a go, but also that Fox has hired a director. Namely, Scott Frank, who wrote Get Shorty and Minority Report before hitting the director's chair on The Lookout. The movie will cover the pre-Apes tale of how the primates overtook the planet. So this isn't only a prequel, it's a sort of a Conquest remake, too. Geez, this is getting confusing.

More on this project as it arises, but please do share your thoughts. Like ... do we really NEED a new version of this oft-exhumed tale? Frankly no. But given Mr. Frank's track record, I find myself feeling a little more optimistic than usual.

UPDATE: Mr. Faraci has spoken with Scott Frank, who has cleared up the fact that he's not remaking Conquest. From CHUD: "[Frank's] film will not feature talking monkeys, and it will not end with chimpanzees running wild in the streets, taking over the world. But it isn't entirely divorced from the world of Planet of the Apes, either. In fact, Frank sees his movie as the opening chapter in a saga that could span the thousand years between today and a world where apes rule."