James Franco Cast in Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Apes Prequel
by Alex Billington
May 20, 2010
Big casting news to report today that should make a few Planet of the Apes fans happy. Variety (and other trades sites like Deadline and Heat Vision) are reporting that James Franco has been cast as the lead in 20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes being directed by British director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist). Franco will play the role of a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes. Apparently Franco beat out a number of Hollywood's young elite actors for the coveted lead role. As far as we know, Franco is the first actor cast in this highly anticipated prequel.
Although script reviews have been out for a while now, we've learned a bit more about the story from a few different news articles. Franco's scientist character has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's that is being tested on apes. The test subject, named Caesar, starts to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors. The movie will be set in contemporary San Francisco and leads into the inevitable war between apes and humans. Fox has already set a June 24th 2011 release date and Weta Digital will be animating all of the apes in the movie. Shooting starts this summer in Vancouver.