Lord of the Rings and King Kong actor Andy Serkis is returning to his antagonistic roots with the lead villain role in Rise of the Apes, the upcoming prequel to the Planet of the Apes series.
Serkis has signed on to play Caesar, an ape who is the subject of testing and genetic engineering from various San Francisco scientists. He's raised by James Franco's lead character and Franco's Alzheimer's-afflicted father, played by John Lithgow. Eventually, Caesar finds himself leading the ape uprising that results in the ape-ruled world seen in the Planet of the Apes series. Freida Pinto also stars and Don Cheadle is rumored for a role.
With Serkis on board, Rise of the Apes is now a reunion of sorts for the erstwhile Gollum and Peter Jackson's visual effects house WETA Digital. Serkis has played a number of non-performance capture roles in recent years, so it'll be a thrill seeing him play a literally inhuman character once again.