Grab Bag: RISE OF THE APES gets a new title; HOBBIT has a second unit director; ODD THOMAS gets female lead

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
April 7th, 2011

Apparently 20th Century Fox just can’t quite find the right title for their upcoming prequel to the PLANET OF THE APES franchise.

CBM is reporting (and has since been confirmed)  that what was formerly known as RISE OF THE APES will now be titled RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

The film stars James Franco as “a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.” Co-starring John Lithgow, Don Cheadle, Freida Pinto, Brian Cox, Andy Serkis (wisely chosen as Caesar, the lead ape), David Oyelowo, and Tom Felton, a trailer has been rumored to be heading for an April 15 release. We have seen very little from this film, but what we have seen has been relatively interesting. As a whole, I’m not too huge on this title, as I find it quite a bit too long, but it does work within the franchise.

In other news, THR is reporting that Andy Serkis will be serving as second unit director on the upcoming Peter Jackson-directed dual HOBBIT pictures. Serkis does ultimately hope to, following THE HOBBIT, direct his first narrative feature, so who knows, this otherwise minor gig could prove to be the breeding ground for one hell of a directorial career. I’m a huge fan of Serkis as an actor, so here’s to hoping he can be just as good behind the camera.

Finally, the talented and stunningly gorgeous Addison Timlin is set to play the female lead in the upcoming Stephen Sommers film, ODD THOMAS, according to Variety. She’ll play opposite Anton Yelchin in the adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel, which follows a cook who meets a man with connections to dark forces. As a fan of both Timlin and Yelchin, it does give me a lot of hope for a film that otherwise sounds relatively unbearable. However, Sommers as the director does give me a bit of pause. Hopefully the talent in front of the camera can make up for the lack of it behind.

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