Now that Twentieth Century Fox has its X-Men: First Class sequel lined up to shoot early next year, the studio is concentrating on its other successful 2011 franchise reboot, Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes. According to THR, Contagion screenwriter Scott Z. Burns has been hired to work on the script for the sequel.
Seems like a good fit. Rise saw chimpanzees start to gain a level of human intelligence after being exposed to a gene therapy drug intended to help cure Alzheimer's Disease. The closing moments hinted at the spread of a pandemic virus throughout humanity, a synopsized version of the entirety of Contagion, basically. Rise screenwriters and co-producers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa have already had a turn on the sequel script, but it's possible that Fox wanted Burns to make the script a bit more "Contagion-y." With the report claiming that the sequel will see "the apes on the path to emerge as society’s new rulers," it's also likely that the studio wanted Burns for the action work he did on The Bourne Ultimatum as well.
Returning for the sequel is Rise director Rupert Wyatt, who said last December that he was "going to level the playing field for the next part of the story, which is the real conflict between humans and apes on a far bigger scale." Clearly, Caesar, the chimp that leads the revolution, is involved, as actor Andy Serkis, who played Caesar in motion capture, is already set to return. No word yet on when production will begin. Posted 05.16.12 by Ryan