Serkis Signs on for <i>Apes</i> Sequel as Fox Pledges Oscar Campaign

The man behind the faces of some of the most iconic characters of the past decade, Andy Serkis has built his career playing apes and monsters, but does it so well you forget you're looking at an animated creature. When you see a Serkis character on screen, you might not be able to tell it's him, but the emotive expressions and intent hit you even through a screen of CGI visuals and composting stands between you and the actor.

Fox seems to have a good deal of faith in the actor because, Deadline reports, the studio just nailed down a seven-figure deal for Serkis to return as Caesar in the sequel to this year's hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Executives also said they're working on a campaign to secure the actor an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the film.

Whether the human characters played by James Franco and Freida Pinto will return remains to be seen, but director Rupert Wyatt does plan to revisit the Planet of the Apes, along with writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The story has yet to be hammered out, but expect work to begin soon as Fox will want to capitalize on the first film's success.

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