Color me excited about this new Rise of the Apes movie. According to 20th Century Fox's Twitter account, the upcoming reboot of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes now has actor Andy Serkis attached to it. Serkis is most famous for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings cycle and recently played punk rocker Ian Dury in Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Serkis will play Caesar, the leader of an ape rebellion against the humans that have imprisoned them and treated them like slaves at worst and second-class citizens at best. At least, that's what would be true if they're using Conquest of the Planet of the Apes as a template for their remake, which I suspect they are based on the film's plot.
This is great news. While the film didn't get the prestige director it could have--I think a Pierre Morel directed Apes or one directed by a dark horse candidate like George Illiadis, director of the Last House on the Left remake, or Scott Stewart, director of Legion--there's a lot to say about this new Apes' film's cast. After Serkis, who has proven time and again that his intense performance as Gollum was not a fluke but rather a standard of his quality of acting, there's Don Cheadle, John Lithgow, Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto and James Franco.
I'm especially excited about this bit of casting news because Serkis is the kind of actor that can really throw himself into a role like this. Having seen and liked to various degrees the original five Apes films multiple times, I have to say that there probably is a lot of sense in remaking Conquest of the Planet of the Apes instead of the other four films (though arguably Tim Burton already did that, didn't he?). Conquest is a great jumping-on point for fans and considering that the memory of Tim Burton's remake still faintly lingers in people's minds, even people that haven't seen it such as myself (my memories of the original Apes films are too fond for me to even attempt a look, though I'm sure it's not that bad). And Serkis is a very good choice to replace Roddy McDowall's rebellious leader.
It's all coming together. Though part of me still insists that Escape from the Planet of the Apes is the best Apes movie and that a kooky, no-holds-barred remake of Beneath the Planet of the Apes could be a lot of fun (what's not to love about A-bomb-worshiping mutants with psychic powers and faces that slip off when you touch them?), I think this Apes film will be all right.
Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think about this casting news or just the prospect of a Conquest remake/redo/reboot/suggested by thing.