Right after Thanksgiving I got a phone call from a trusted source. ‘This is for deep background,’ the source said. ‘You can use this to kick over some rocks. Scott Frank is on the remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. And there’s more…’ My plan: make the proper calls on Monday to confirm what the source said (even though this source is trusted beyond question) and shore up some more info.

Well, I got scooped by Production Weekly. Their latest issue has the news that Frank is writing and directing the film, and that it’s name is no longer Genesis: Apes (or Planet of the Apes: Genesis, as it was also called) but simply, regally, Caesar. Caesar, of course, is the name of the ape who leads the rebellion against the humans in Conquest.

Like the Genesis: Apes script, Frank’s movie will eschew the time travel aspect of the original series and will present Caesar as a chimpanzee whose intellect has been stimulated by genetic experimentation. And while I’m sitting on most of the information my source divulged, I will say that Frank’s vision doesn’t include six foot tall chimps. Don’t expect this to be an ape suit movie.

If this film happens – and that’s still a big if at this point – look for it in 2010. Meanwhile, I’m going to take the rest of the info I have and kick over those rocks tomorrow. Until I can share with you what I know, take heart that what Frank wants to do with this property is exciting, edgy and is filled with awesome franchise opportunities.