The movie, titled Rise Of The Apes, centres on a scientist (James Franco) who begins testing a cure for Alzheimer's on apes. The experiment on subject Caesar goes awry and a war between humans and apes quickly erupts.
Lithgow will play Franco's father, who suffers from Alzheimer's. Slumdog Millionaire's Pinto has also been confirmed for the sci-fi project playing a primatologist.
The Escapist director Rupert Wyatt is helming the blockbuster, due for release in June 2011.