Film News: Andy Serkis Joins ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Sequel

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CHICAGO – After becoming the surprise hit of the summer, a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” star is getting a well-deserved pay check. You may assume I am talking about James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Tom Felton, or any of the other actors who portrayed people on screen. However, this pay raise goes to the apes.

Andy Serkis, the motion capture actor who played the lead ape, Caesar, in “Rise” (as well as Gollum in “Lord of the Rings” and Kong in “King Kong”) signed a deal with 20th Century Fox today that is reportedly well into the seven figure range. Serkis, who received immense critical praise for his motion capture performance, was only signed on for a one film contract, but his performance rewarded him with the pay day.

The news of the Serkis deal comes at a very interesting time as Oscar film season is about to get under way and speculation has surrounded Serkis as a possible nominee for an acting award. The argument surrounding the performance is not whether Serkis’s acting is award worthy, but if he qualifies for the nomination. A motion capture actor has never been nominated for any acting award and there is controversy whether an actor that receives assistance from motion capture technology can be nominated.

Whether Serkis is nominated for awards this year or he is snubbed by technicalities or other acting performances, the real news for fans here is that Serkis will return as Caesar in a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” sequel, which will be directed by the first film’s director, Rupert Wyatt. staff writer Tim Martens

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