In an interview with MTV, actor James Franco dropped the bomb that he may not join the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the Apes prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which Franco played the scientist that gives Caesar his mental strength.
“I was going to be a small part of the next one,” he reveals in talking about returning to his role of Will Rodman. “There was a moment when Rupert Wyatt was going to direct the second one. A lot of the human characters that were in the first movie were dead in the sequel that Rupert was going to direct. But there was one scene, between Caesar and my character, maybe even just like on a video that was left behind, but then a lot of things happened, like [former Fox co-chairman] Tom Rothman who was a big part of the first movie, left. Now Rupert’s not a part of it so I don’t know. My guess is I won’t be in it. Nobody’s talked to me since Rupert left.”
Let Me In and Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves has since come aboard to direct, and Andy Serkis is the only name to be attached to star. There’s no need to be alarmed because it’s just too soon to say Franco won’t return, which is why it’s a bit odd that he’d even imply that’s the case. Shooting is set to begin in the first quarter of 2013 with a release set for May 23, 2014.
Dawn continues the story of how ultra-intelligent simian Caesar (Andy Serkis) presides over the fall of human civilization. After the apes break out of their facility, 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.