Deadline says a sequel to this summer’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes is still in the “idea stage”, but the site reports Fox has closed “a healthy seven-figure deal for Andy Serkis to reprise his role as lead ape Caesar.”
While director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver were already locked for a sequel, Serkis only signed for one film, which gave him some negotiating leverage. The signing is significant as not even James Franco or Freida Pinto are locked in for the sequel. Then again, their importance may not be as pivotal to the next story.
It was recently revealed the original ending to the first film had Franco’s character, Will, dying as he was caught in the crossfire between Caesar and the military trying to stop the ape uprising. It will be interesting to see if they decide to bring Franco back, especially considering the ending as it was in the final cut of the film still doesn’t depend on his involvement.
As far as sequel ideas go, Wyatt did have some comments while doing press for the film’s theatrical release telling Bleeding Cool:
Whatever they decide to do I’m down as I thought the first film was a great start, with plenty of potential to really create a great franchise.
The question still remains as to whether Fox will attempt to campaign for an Oscar nomination for Serkis for his role in Apes, and while I have him included in my predictions, I’m already on record with my thoughts on whether or not he has a chance.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes hits DVD and Blu-ray on December 13. You can get more on those releases here.