It’s impossible not to have misgivings about Rise of the Apes, the new Planet of the Apes prequel that Fox is shooting for next year, but the casting so far has been more or less great. James Franco has the human lead, while Freida Pinto will be the love interest, and John Lithgow is going to be in there. The script isn’t a mindless actionfest but rather – gasp! – a drama that builds to a big ending. And now the film has cast its real lead actor – Caesar, the genetically modified chimp who leads an ape uprising.

Andy Serkis, who provided the acting for Gollum and the new King Kong, will wear a mocap suit for a turn as Caesar. That’s fitting as WETA is doing the ape FX work on the film. The news comes from a weird source – a tweet from 20th Century Fox’s Twitter acount.

Against my cynical nature, I’m getting really, really hopeful for this movie. Casting Serkis proves that director Rupert Wyatt is taking this seriously and trying to craft a great character, and not just have another special effect. Could Rise of the Apes be… a great Planet of the Apes film?