I say it’s both a prequel and a remake because it is. The film, Caesar, is actually a remake of the original Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, which in turn is a prequel to the first Planet of the Apes movie (but was fourth in the series). Confused yet?
The story follows the life of the a young chimp who has been tested on for genetic research. As he grows, however he develops higher thinking powers, and eventually leads an army of apes in a revolt against mankind. The end result leads to what we see in Planet of the Apes.
This does differs slightly from the original Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, in which Caesar is a slave along with his fellow apes (who are all highly evolved), who is chosen to be the main human’s personal slave. Being in a position of power, Caesar takes control and leads the apes into revolt. The whole of the original is a parable for discrimination and the segregation that plagued the US at the time of the film’s release. Whether or not those same themes will be present in the new film are yet to be seen.
(That is one pissed off monkey)
My excitement comes more from the fact that I am a huge fan of the original series, and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was my favorite out of all of them. The problem has been a severe lack of info and progress on this film. The greenlight for this film actually happened soon after the Planet of the Apes remake back in 2001 (the shameful attempt by Tim Burton), but for some reason kept getting pushed back. Then a few years ago production seemed to start ramping up again but…WAM! The Writers Guild strike.
With all these problems I had given up on ever seeing the project come to life, but news has come out today that production offices at Mammoth Studios have opened the doors, and filming is set begin as soon as mid-July! Rupert Wyatt is directing this new adaptation, but no firm release date has been set. At least something is happening on the project now.