Nov 4, 2011

IT'S ABOUT TIME! Best Two Prequels Of The Summer Getting Sequels

Going into this past summer, there were two movies that filled me with what could best be described as cautious optimism.  Of course, they were both prequels.

X-Men: First Class and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes both had the potential for massive disappointment but they ended up being in my top five movies of the summer!  (They are, in order: Attack The Block, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Rise of the Planet Of The Apes and Super 8.)  What both prequels got right was their approach to the source material, namely a healthy amount of respect without slavish adherence.  Moreover, I left both movies totally jazzed to see more adventures in each of these newly minted worlds.

Thankfully it now looks like we'll be getting both.  Earlier this week, Fox signed a deal with Andy Serkis to return for more simian adventures as Caesar, the daddy of all super-smart primates.  Yesterday they hired Simon Kinberg (X3, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) to write the next X-Men movie.  These are just the first steps in what will surely become a long development process for both franchises, but these steps typically happen much sooner after a film's release, so at this point it's a minor miracle they've happened at all.

There's no word on whether Fox wants James Franco or Freida Pinto back to play with Serkis and I honestly don't really care either way.  The real star of that movie is Serkis and I'd love to see him get some Oscar love for his incredible motion-capture work.  And while Apes director Rupert Wyatt and his writers had multi-picture deals from the get-go, there's no word yet on whether Matthew Vaughn will return to helm the next X-Adventure.  I suspect he'll want the reigns again, (schedule permitting) which means I'd expect him to take a crack at whatever pages Kinberg churns out, having been the major voice on the last script along with his wife Jane Goldman.

Either way, both of these moves are extremely encouraging, especially coming from Fox, the studio that generally couldn't recognize a really great movie even if it punched Tom Rothman in the face.

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