Going bananas: A Planet of the Apes prequel develops

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Guess you can't keep a good monkey down: Despite the critical failure and box-office disappointment of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake, 20th Century Fox persists in developing more installments in the franchise.

Now comes news, via Deadline Hollywood, that the studio is eyeing English director Rupert Wyatt to direct a prequel:

Rupert Wyatt has moved into pole position on 20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes prequel. No start date, but Wyatt's come aboard to develop to direct. Script's by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Wyatt last directed The Escapist.
No, we don't know anything about Wyatt, either, or about the script. And we're not sure if this is a prequel to the acclaimed original 1968 film or Burton's 2001 apefest. (And, besides, weren't Escape From, Conquest of and Battle for the Planet of the Apes all prequels?)

Update: C.H.U.D. has details about how this proposed new film will be a direct prequel to the original Apes and is the same Caesar film rumored earlier:

Now we have some details about the story of Caesar, which is currently called Caesar: Rise of the Apes, and about the tons of little nods to the original movie that Jaffa and Silver have put into their script. And about how it surprisingly ties directly into the original 1968 Planet of the Apes.

Be warned: there are spoilers that follow, although fans of the original five Apes movies will not be too surprised by much of what happens in this film.

Like Scott Frank's version, Caesar: Rise of the Apes is centered on genetic research. Will is a doctor trying to cure Alzheimers, a disease that afflicts his father. He's working with monkeys to create a benign virus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality. After his research is shut down he's left with just one chimp, the child of his most promising subject, and Will raises him at home. Young Caesar is incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continues to mutate and evolve, looking less like a chimp and moving on from sign language to actual speech. Eventually Caesar ends up leading an army of apes in an uprising just as a catastrophe strikes mankind.

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