TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

New "Planet of the Apes" underway?

25 January 2010 [10:06] - TODAY.AZ
Earlier this month our pals at CHUD speculated that a mooted new Planet of the Apes film might have died a premature death, with the departure from the project of screenwriter and director Scott Frank. According to New York Magazine however, new organ grinders have been assigned, and the monkey is still dancing.

Distancing itself completely from the hapless Tim Burton / Marky Mark “reimagining” from 2000, Frank’s script seems to be a reworking of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes: the rather good fourth film in the original series, which details the original ape rebellion against  oppressive humankind. Named Caesar, after the genetically modified revolutionary simian whose intellect comes to eclipse that of his handlers, Frank’s script was judged by the studio Fox too be expensive and too dark to be feasible. Creative differences or creative indifference?

Producer Scott Rudin walked when Frank did, but NY says that “production and agency insiders” have both confirmed that Jamie Moss (Street Kings, Ghost in the Shell, X-Men First Class) is now on board whittling the script, and Peter Chernin, former News Corp head honcho and now head of his own production company Chernin Entertainment, has stepped into Rudin’s shoes. Legend has it that, as part of a “golden parachute” deal negotiated when he left News Corp, Chernin can, a limited number of times, make what he likes. His is the recently announced Moses project.

And Chernin really likes Planet of the Apes. He it was who paid Oliver Stone a million dollars in 1992 to oversee a new movie, calling Terry Hayes’ Return to the Planet of the Apes the best script he ever read.

We’re saying that Rick Baker’s amazing ape make-up was the saving grace of Burton’s film, so we hope he’ll be given the redemptive opportunity (and be willing) to stick his neck out again and give Caesar his best shot. It’s expected that a new director will be announced shortly.

/Empire Online/

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