This morning, 20th Century Fox announced that Andy “The Motion-Captured Olivier” Serkis just signed a “healthy seven-figure deal” to star in the sequel to this summer’s $453 million-grossing Rise of the Planet of the Apes as main ape Caesar. Also returning will be director Rupert Wyatt and writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who haven’t yet decided whether they’ll require the services of human-portrayers James Franco and Freida Pinto or if Apes 2 will be set in a monkey-ravaged, people-free post-apocalypse. Way more exciting than any of this, though, is word that Fox will indeed mount an Oscar campaign for Serkis, whose nomination would be the first for a motion-capture actor (see our previous coverage here, here, here, and here). A few things we have to look forward to: “For Your Consideration” ads touting “2011’s Most Acclaimed Performance as an Ape,” acceptance speeches thanking agents, managers, and zookeepers, and the sight of Serkis arriving on red carpets wearing tuxedoes covered in tennis balls. Let’s make this happen, Academy.