Two months ago, news broke that the long-brewing Planet of the Apes prequel had a director in Rupert Wyatt, and a new script courtesy of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The script (once titled Caesar, now called Rise of the Apes) scored high marks with the Internet's biggest POTA fan, but nothing was really definite about the project. After all, this Caesar prequel has been kicking around for at least two years, and you can understand why Fox is hesitating on giving it the greenlight. It's been a decade, but there's still a sour taste left by Tim Burton's re-imagining as evidenced by our comment fields.

Well, that changes today. According to Variety, Fox has confirmed Wyatt as director and given the tentatively-titled Rise of the Apes a release date of June 24, 2011. That's only a year away. I think I can hear a scream of "They're rushing it!" from CHUD now.

But perhaps the biggest and most exciting part of this announcement is who will be handling the monkey work. Peter Jackson's effects company, WETA Digital, will be taking care of all ape effects. They'll be creating photo realistic apes entirely out of pixels, the first time an Apes movie has eschewed suited actors. I think we can all agree the high point of Jackson's King Kong was the CG Kong, and digital effects have taken a leap or two forward since then. Caesar and his evolving ilk should be phenomenal. But will the movie be more than a bunch of awesomely rendered apes? We only have a year before we find out.

categories Movies, Cinematical