Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ big box office haul makes the announcement of a sequel completely unsurprising, but that doesn’t mean I’m not very happy to hear about it. As Deadline reports, Fox has signed Andy Serkis for a follow-up to this summer’s reboot, while director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriters Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver are contracted to return. The motion-capture superstar’s agents are actually trying to get him set up for “multiple future installments,” though the success of a second film will depend on that actually going somewhere.
James Franco and Freida Pinto, a.k.a. the ostensible leads of Rise, have yet to be signed; a decision should come later, and the first film’s ending could make it easy for them to stick around or be thrown out of the picture with a quick line. All the same, it says both good and bad things about Rise when it wouldn’t be such a terrible idea to simply get rid of them. Their characters — and, to be honest, performances — were the weakest aspects of the original movie. How many of you even remember that his name is Will?
Some plans have already been proposed by the director and screenwriters, but Fox is reportedly “still in the idea stage.” Things worked out for them the first time around, so I think it would be wise to give creative control to the people actually making it — plus, the studio has probably learned their lesson enough times about seizing control of a property.
To take things back toward the original movie — it’s been revealed that Fox will be working on an Oscar campaign for Serkis‘ much-praised work, a move that’s been promoted by some critics since the film came out in August. And it’s deserved; he gave a nuanced, engaging performance, so getting him some attention is worth the effort. There is something of an issue, however, with the Academy: they might not be wholly enthusiastic about giving a nomination to someone who worked with motion-capture. Mostly because they’re stupid and have shown year-in, year-out that they don’t understand what real acting can constitute, but it could still be an obstacle for the marketing team. I’m really hoping they can pull it off.
Would you be excited about a Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel? Does Serkis deserve a nomination?
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