About two weeks ago CHUD reported that Scott Frank had left his proposed Planet of the Apes project called Caesar, which he wrote and was to direct. At the time it was assumed that his departure — which CHUD reports was due to Fox thinking it was too expensive and too dark — meant the end of the project.
But not so fast. Vulture is reporting that the project is still very much in development at Fox:
Production and agency insiders both confirm that Fox has hired writer Jamie Moss (Street Kings) to rework Frank’s version, and the original writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (The Relic, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle), were recently brought back to polish the dialogue.
Here’s how Vulture breaks down the situation:
Frank’s Apes script, code-named Caesar, showed how genetic experiments on apes led to their evolutionary eclipse of humans. “Caesar” refers to the genetically altered leader of the simian rebellion, so dubbed because the ape was capable of grand strategic thinking on par with Julius Caesar (whose own surname means “hairy” in Latin). The “Caesar” code name also foreshadowed the script’s plot: Just as the actual Julius Caesar set Rome on the path to the Roman Empire, the experimental ape’s escape sets in motion his fellow hirsute hominids’ (wait for it … ) guerrilla war and subsequent dominance.
The studio, however, wanted to pursue a different tack than Frank, and the writer-director was unwilling to change direction, according to a production source. As Rudin was only on board because Frank had asked him to serve as producer (the two had enjoyed working together on Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate twenty years ago), he left as well. But now that it’s been handed to Chernin, the presumed-dead project is red hot again. For one thing, as part of his golden parachute from News Corporation, Chernin has several “put” pictures — essentially, a commitment from the studio to get several movies made, even if the studio brass objects. But insiders tell Vulture that Chernin may not even need to waste one of his puts: The studio wants to make the Caesar project, post haste. A director is expected to be hired imminently.
Head on over to Vulture to read the rest of the article.