'Contagion' Writer Tapped to Pen 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Sequel (Exclusive)

Scott Z. Burns Headshot - P 2012
<p>Scott Z. Burns Headshot - P 2012</p>   |   Craig Barritt/Getty Images
The screenwriter, whose credits also include "The Informant!" and "The Bourne Ultimatum," is tackling a follow-up to 2011's blockbuster franchise reboot.

Scott Z. Burns has been tapped to work on Fox’s sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Chernin Entertainment is producing.

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The project continues the story set forth in last year’s critical and commercial hit movie featuring simians that are given human intelligence and subsequently break out of their facility. At the same time, a virus breaks out that causes the collapse of human society.

The new project is taking the story to the next level, with the apes on the path to emerge as society’s new rulers.

After the movie proved to be a hit, Fox locked up Andy Serkis, who played Caesar, the lead ape, and has director Rupert Wyatt set to return as well.

Original writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa also were brought back to write a draft of the sequel.

Burns is well versed in epidemics and breakdowns of society’s orders, having penned Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s all-star virus thriller that had many hiding under the covers and constantly Purelling their hands.

He also wrote The Informant! and worked on The Bourne Ultimatum and was a producer on the Oscar-winning global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Burns is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and Jackoway Tyerman.