If you haven't seen one of last summer's finest blockbusters or somehow didn't understand the implication of the film's give-away-the-ending title, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" concludes with the highly evolved apes poised to take over the world. Where exactly the story will pick up in Fox's planned sequel is something filmmakers haven't quite cracked, but now we know exactly when audiences will get a chance to check it out.
"That will be a summer '14 movie," Fox head honcho Tom Rothman exclusively told MTV News at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
Director Rupert Wyatt is locked in to return to the director's chair after the first film in the rebooted franchise grossed over $480 million worldwide. And Andy Serkis, who wowed moviegoers with his motion-captured portrayal of rebel ape leader, Caesar — a performance that without a doubt deserved high-profile awards-season love but didn't receive any — is also set to reprise his role. "Andy's fully committed to it," Rothman said.
But what about that question of when in the franchise timeline the sequel will begin? During the original film's post-credits sequence, we saw the genetically engineered virus created by James Franco's scientist begin to spread across the globe, thanks to one infected patient's ill-advised airplane trip. How much time will have passed between that pandemic and the start of the sequel has not been decided.
"I think one of the big questions they're wrestling with now, which is kind of the fun, is how far forward do we skip?" Rothman said. "When does it start? Does it start the next day? The next year? Does it start in 10 years? Does it start in 50 years?"
Part of that storytelling decision will also have to take into account a third film, because as Rothman reaffirmed, Fox is planning "Apes" as a trilogy. And he'll accept nothing less than scripts that are even better than the original's. "The script for that 'Apes' film was fantastic," Rothman explained. "We had the script for 10 years, and I always knew it was one of the best scripts. I just didn't think it was possible to do it. I thought it couldn't be done. ... We've got to have a great script. Because now, having made that good a movie, we better make the next one better."
Check out everything we've got on "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
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