Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Sequel Brings On Contagion Writer Scott Z. Burns

Especially given what a disastrous idea it seemed at first, not to mention the horrendously clunky title, Rise of the Planet of the Apes has a surprising staying power-- images like the unseen apes rustling in the trees, or the showdown on the fogbound Golden Gate Bridge, have stuck with me long after entire plots of other summer movies have escaped me entirely. Nearly a year later, the movie that looked like a surefire summer flop now has me anxiously awaiting a sequel, and though there's been little word of progress on it so far, we've got some good news to share today.

According to THR, screenwriter Scott Z. Burns has been given the job of writing the film's sequel, which will deal both with the titular rise of the apes and the virus that's destroying human society at the same time. All THR will confirm is that the apes are "on the path to emerge as society's new rulers," which if you've seen the original Charlton Heston movies, well, no duh. The genius in choosing Burns as a writer is that he's worked with Steven Soderbergh several times, including on last year's outbreak-centric Contagion. Plenty of us joked that the end credits to Rise of the Apes were a spoiler for the chillingly realistic Contagion, but now that Burns can use all that pandemic knowledge to beef up the Apes sequel, it seems like a perfect fit.

Writers of the original script Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa also did a draft of the script, so it's unclear how much Burns will be changing. But with both Andy Serkis returning to play Caesar and director Rupert Wyatt back on board as well, the new Apes film seems to have all the potential of the first, and without the draggy presence of James Franco and Freida Pinto to weigh it down. Here's hoping Burns jumping on board means they're moving quickly toward a start date, and that some summer in the near future can entertain us by making us watch the human race die off-- fun!

Katey Rich

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend