There’s finally official confirmation that 20th Century Fox are moving ahead with their prequel to the Planet of the Apes series with Rise of the Apes, due in cinemas on the 24th of June 2011.

The Escapist director Rupert Wyatt will take the reins of this one, and will direct the screenplay from Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

Here’s the press release from Fox detailing what they can about the film so far,

RISE OF THE APES (tentative title) is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Here’s the thing though,

Oscar®-winning visual effects house WETA Digital – employing certain of the groundbreaking technologies developed for AVATAR – will render, for the first time ever in the film series, photo-realistic apes rather than costumed actors.

I’m not so sure that’s a good thing, but WETA are capable of amazing things, and if Fox are so sure that CGI Apes are the way to go then WETA are surely the best team for the job.

The concept of present day genetic experiments has been around for a long time, and there was no guarantee it would find its way into the prequel, but it seems Fox are staking their claim to a new franchise right here.

After Tim Burton’s unfairly reviled attempt to strike lightning into the corpse of the franchise, are you excited for a new Apes film?