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Rise of the Apes Begins Production

As reported by the Canwest News Service, production on the Planet of the Apes prequel reboot, Rise of the Apes, has begun in Vancouver. They are, however, referring to the film as Caesar: Rise of the Apes.
The following are some highlights of their article:

* Production has started at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby.

* The seventh feature in Fox's Planet of the Apes franchise will be directed by Rupert Wyatt, who did an acclaimed British prison-break movie, The Escapist. The stars are James Franco (Milk, General Hospital), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire).

* Serkis is an inspired choice: he already donned a furry costume to portray King Kong in Peter Jackson's 2005 version of the monster movie classic. A New Zealand company co-owned by Jackson, Weta Digital, will be doing the digital effects for the film, including digitally animated apes.

* Through the wonders of the modern age, Weta will be working via the "digital pipeline" in New Zealand while filming is going on in and around Vancouver. The interior sets are at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby, but there will be lots of exterior shoots around the Lower Mainland, which will become San Francisco for the film.

* The screenplay is by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who co-wrote The Relic and Eye For an Eye. Silver also wrote The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

* What makes Planet of the Apes so irresistible to 20th Century Fox, the studio that has done them all? The series has made tons of money. According to Wikipedia, the 1968 Planet of the Apes cost $5.8 million to make and earned $32,589,624 in the U.S. The website Box Office Mojo says the 2001 Planet of the Apes cost $100 million and earned $362 million worldwide.

* Caesar's budget should be in the $90 million range. It is slated for a June 24, 2011 release.
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