Thursday, May 20, 2010

James Franco to star in "Rise of the Apes"

James Franco has his damn dirty paws on the lead role in "Rise of the Apes," a prequel to the "Planet of the Apes" franchise.

The Fox feature focuses on a scientist (Franco) who has been testing a cure for Alzheimer's on apes. The test subject named Caesar starts to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home and protects him from cruel doctors.

The story is designed to be show the modern-day event that set in motion the eventual dominance of apes over humans seen the classic 1960s and '70s movies. It is unclear how much of the movie will focus on the ape inciting an ape revolution, but given that Peter Jackson's WETA effects house is on board, the monkey play could be significant.

The apes will not be actors in costumes but rather rendered digitally to be photo-realistic by New Zealand-based WETA, employing certain of the groundbreaking technologies developed for "Avatar."

The movie will shoot this summer in British Columbia. Rupert Wyatt is on board to direct.

Franco's credits include the "Spider-Man" films and "Milk."


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