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Two Join 'Rise of the Apes'

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Jun 23, 2010 | 5:38am EDT

John Lithgow20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes prequel, aptly titled Rise of the Apes, has been in development for a long time. Since the film was greenlit, there hasn't been much movement aside from director Rupert Wyatt and star James Franco being hired. Today, we get a bit more insight into the production as two major characters are cast.

The Hollywood Reporter states that John Lithgow and Freida Pinto will work on the Peter Chernin produced prequel. Lithgow will play Franco's Alzheimer's-stricken father, while Pinto, the female lead, plays a primatologist who works in the lab with Franco's scientist. Together, the two lab rats work on a cure for Alzheimer's by testing on apes. The test subject named Caesar evolves rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors, but as the beast grows smarter and smarter, he begins to lead his species to world domination.

I'm psyched that these two gifted performers will be joining the project, but I can't deny that I'd love to see them both play fully evolved apes like Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Roth in Tim Burton's 2001 blockbuster. I, of course, realize that this is a prequel to a storied sci-fi series and given the premise of the film, know that we aren't going to see many Apes on that level of sophistication, but a guy can think "what if", right?

Rise of the Apes shoots this summer in British Columbia under the supervision of producers Chernin and Dylan Clark.

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