Twentieth Century Fox has secured a deal today for actor Andy Serkis’s services should they decide to move forward on any potential sequels on this summer’s hit Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.
Serkis’s motion capture performance of the chimpanzee Caesar was the lynchpin of the film’s success and it makes sense that the studio would want to ensure that they have him back if they decide to make a follow up film. Although director Rupert Wyatt and screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver’s deals for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes came with sequel options, Serkis’s contract did not, giving his reps the leverage with which they secured what Deadline has reported as a “healthy seven-figure deal.”
Whether James Franco or Freida Pinto will be back for future installments will depend on how the sequel’s story develops. The film’s ending certainly leaves avenues open that might not necessarily require their participation.
As of now, Fox has not made an official announcement stating that they are definitely developing a sequel though there have been reports that Jaffa and Silver have some ideas as to what direction a sequel might take. But when you couple today’s news with the fact that Rise pulled $453 million worldwide at the box office and is selling well on home video, it is seems like a no-brainer that the studio is going to bring us another chapter in the newly revived franchise.
Deadline is also reporting that Fox will be giving Serkis a major push for an acting Academy Award nomination. And honestly, I think it’s about time that motion capture be recognized not just as some visual effects gimmick but as a legitimate too used for acting, no different than any other actor’s use of makeup or wardrobe to help create a character. Serkis has already assembled a rather impressive body of motion capture just between his work on The Lord Of The Rings and King Kong. Later this year, he’ll adding the role of Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s all motion capture The Adventures Of Tintin to his motion capture resume.