Next Apes film gets greenlight

20th Century Fox has confirmed that the sequel to Rise of the Planet of The Apes is poised to kick off production.

The announcement was part of a short list of films which are to begin production this summer, the rest of which, including Wolverine and Robopocolypse, had been previously announced. The next few months will likely be used for casting, which may include a replacement for the star of the first film.

Andy Serkis, who did the amazing facial motion capture work behind the film’s protagonist, is currently deep in Middle Earth, courtesy of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films.

As such, he may be tied up there for the rest of the year at least. Hopefully, Serkis will find a way to balance both projects because the character – if the next film even follows Ceasar, which is unknown – simply wouldn’t be the same without Serkis.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the best films of 2011, and certainly the most memorable. Of all the movies I found something about to love last year, this is the one that continuously comes to mind when I think of great 2011 cinema. The effects and performance innovations were breathtaking, and left us with a modern classic fantasy film. See TG Daily’s review here.

I just hope that this sequel takes the story somewhere just as interesting, especially after the phenomenal set-up at the end of the first film.

The unnamed sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes – my guess is Return to the Planet of the Apes – will begin production this summer. No release date has yet been announced, but the other two films beginning production at the same time are slated for the 2013 summer blockbuster season.