We don’t need to rehash the story of how “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” became the unexpected box office hit of last summer. We’ll let the $480 million-plus worldwide haul for the movie speak for itself. The sequel has been brewing for a while now, with Fox locking up Andy Serkis for multiple films last year, Rupert Wyatt committed to direct and a potential 2014 release date on the horizon. And by the looks of things, Fox is ready to class up this mega sequel.
Steven Soderbergh pal and all around whipsmart writer Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “The Bitter Pill,” “The Bourne Ultimatum“) has been hired on to write the script for the ‘Apes’ followup. It’s certainly a step up from Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver from the last movie, but our excitement is temepered just a bit. As great as Burns is, Fox has a tendency to hire multiple writers for big projects, and we wouldn’t exactly be shocked if he’s just the first of a handful of peple brought on to tinker as the movie moves through development. In fact, Jaffa and Silver have already penned a draft. But hey, as someone to come in and take the baton and run with it, you can could do much worse than Burns.
No word yet exactly on where the story will go, but THR vaguely says that the movie will see the apes become society’s rulers. The big question is if Caesar and the apes will talk this time out. “We’re working on the sequel right now, to the prequel, and so the excitement is — I’m not going to tell you, but — are they gonna talk or not?” Silver said last fall. “Part of the challenge was how to get across what was happening between the apes without words. In the end I think it was a good challenge for us. It created better storytelling.” In other words: we’ll see.
So, the franchise continues to move forward with Fox seemingly committed to raising the game. ‘Apes’ will hopefully roar soon.