I didn't get a chance to read it, but those who did said it was an amazing script - more of a character piece. Here's a quick rundown the development.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
In 2008, Production Weekly reported Scott Frank was to direct a new Planet of the Apes film tentatively entitled Caesar (Caesar was the son of talking chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira in the Planet of the Apes movie series, and the chief instigator of the ape revolution. He was portrayed in both movies by actor Roddy McDowall). The trade journal described the new film as being about "The origins of how the Apes took over Earth. A hyper-intelligent chimp raised by humans incites a worldwide ape revolution and causes the downfall of mankind." 20th Century Fox's Tom Rothman confirmed "We are very close at Fox on a new Apes script - this one a kind of prequel story before the first story, with a return to the social thematics that mark the first one, but with an entirely contemporary setting - Earth 2009." Scott Frank further explained the film would not enter active development until February 2009. He wanted to make a hard science fiction film about genetic engineering, and use computer-generated imagery to portray Caesar's evolution. In writing the script, screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver explored whether to make Caesar a talking character.
It was subsequently announced that Scott Frank was writing as well as directing the movie (formerly titled Planet of the Apes: Genesis or Genesis: Apes), which would be a sci-fi movie inspired by Planet of the Apes - rather than a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes - about a genetically altered simian that leads an ape revolution. In January 2010, it was revealed that Frank had left the project (and may have been off it for a while) and the future of Caesar remained up in the air at Fox. It was suggested it was too expensive and seen as too dark, and might have been too cerebral for the studio that makes movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In March 2010, it was reported that Fox had hired Rupert Wyatt, director of the film The Escapist to direct a script by the returning Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver: "Like Frank's version, Caesar: Rise of the Apes is centered on genetic research. Will is a doctor trying to cure Alzheimers, a disease that afflicts his father. He's working with monkeys to create a benign virus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality. After his research is shut down he's left with just one chimp, the child of his most promising subject, and Will raises him at home. Young Caesar is incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continues to mutate and evolve, looking less like a chimp and moving on from sign language to actual speech. Eventually Caesar ends up leading an army of apes in an uprising just as a catastrophe strikes mankind." It was also reported that the movie would include nods to the original movie and tie directly into the original movie series: "TV newscasts recount the launch of a space craft called the 'Icarus', led by a Colonel Taylor, which eventually disappears while going around the dark side of Mars... A female scientist is named Stewart, which was the name of the female Icarus crewmember. Dodge and Landon, also Icarus crewmembers in the original film, appear as names, but in very different roles than in 'Planet of the Apes'. Dodge is a bad guy, in fact."
As the production got under way, rumours suggested filming would take place in Vancouver, Canada, and names of cast-members began to be revealed: James Franco would play the human lead with John Lithgow as his ill father; Freida Pinto would be the female lead and Don Cheadle's name was also associated with the project. Andy Serkis was named as the actor playing Caesar, Brian Cox as the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary, and Tom Felton (from the Harry Potter movies) as Dodge. An early version of the Jaffa/Silver script had a female primatologist character (Pinto) named Stewart, but later reports called this character Caroline. The father character (Lithgow) is named Charles. The primatologist and Franco's geneticist character become lovers. Caesar lives with Franco, and a mean neighbor mistreats Caesar which leads to his anger at humans. Caesar aquires the ability to speak and gets smart gradually. The apes revolt using their "brute strength", rather than weapons. The early draft was described as "a smart science-fiction film" and "a loose prequel... down the middle between a prequel to the 1968 film and a reboot", but there was reportedly also pressure from Fox to "dumb it down" quite a bit. "It's not that dark, but it has dark moments. It's very chilling. There isn't much action up until the third act, then the action gets intense". "The only thing that's the same as 'Conquest' is that the name of the first chimp to talk is 'Caesar', and that's it".