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Deadline reported today 20th Century Fox just closed a massive deal securing their lead for the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Who was the lucky actor? James Franco or Freida Pinto, some big name, Hollywood starlet? Nope, they sealed this seven-figure deal with Andy Serkis. If you ask, “Who?” I’m gonna crawl through this screen and slap you.

Director Rupert Wyatt as well as writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver will also return for the sequel. Serkis’ deal will allow him to return as Caesar for multiple future installments of the series. Franco and Pinto’s possible involvement will be decided when a premise for the sequel is hammered out. I think there’s a good chance Franco won’t return. Hell, he almost died at the end of the first!

Rise rejuvenated the franchise, brought in $453 million for the studio and overall, was a damn good movie. Much of its success is due to Serkis’ incredible performance as Caesar.  Serkis, probably best known for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as well as the upcoming Hobbit films, will also be appearing in The Adventures of Tin Tin. I don’t know how much more the man has to do to prove the artistry required from the actor to bring these CGI, motion-captured characters to life. And not only from the actor, but the animators as well. It’s a combined effort and one couldn’t succeed without the other.

The really great news? Fox has confirmed they will seek an Oscar nomination for Serkis. If the Academy doesn’t even consider his nomination, I’ll be outraged. There’s been zero attention given to motion-captured performance but with the success of Rise as well as Avatar I really hope the time has come.

What do you think are Serkis’ odds at nabbing a nomination? Do you think he deserves one?

Category: Film

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