James Franco Doubts He’ll Return for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Published 2 years ago by

Rise of the Planet of the Apes James Franco James Franco Doubts Hell Return for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

With box office returns of nearly $500 million worldwide, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the surprise hits of 2011. So it wasn’t surprising when Fox announced the development of a sequel to the film: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) is directing the sequel and Andy Serkis will reprise his role as Caesar, the leader of the apes, but one character that likely won’t return is James Franco’s Dr. Will Rodman.

Recently, Franco told MTV News that there were early plans for him to have a small role in the sequel, but things changed after director Rupert Wyatt dropped off the project.

I was going to be a small part of the next one. 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.

It sounds like there is still potential for Franco to come back for the movie, but it depends on whether Reeves and new screenwriter Mark Bomback have a good place for him.

As Andy Serkis recently explained, Dawn will pick up right where Rise left off with Caesar acting as a mediator between the intelligent apes and humanity, which has been ravaged by the pandemic seen at the end of the first film. Given that plot, it makes sense that Franco’s character wouldn’t come back and we would instead focus on new human characters.

While Franco was the headliner for the film, Andy Serkis was the star of the first movie¬†according to most critics. The versatile actor (who can currently be seen reprising the role of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit) brought an incredible level of depth to his character and showed why he is the best in the business at motion-capture performances. As long as he’s involved in the film, and the story is as smart as the first, the majority of filmgoers should be happy with a sequel sans Franco.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is expected to hit theaters May 23rd, 2014.


Source: MTV

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  1. Not that big of a deal. Since the 1st movie ended with, SPOILER ALERT a long time after the fact, the virus decimating most of the human population it would be easy to explain his absence. Lets just get another great story!!

  2. I hope he at least has a small small role in it like the one he described

  3. I wouldn’t mind seeing Andy Serkis getting a shot at director the sequel.

  4. They have to bring him back in some way. Going forward in life is never easy, and that heartbreak of letting go needs to be there.

  5. Simply wanted to say good weblog, that I learn it every now and then.

  6. Considering he worked at ground zero of the virus and his neighbor was one of the earliest infected, I expect he would die pretty fast

    • Doesn’t really matter. A small percentage of the population are going to naturally immune, so he could be living with infected people an still not catch it himself. However, there are other ways to include him without him surviving.

  7. ROTPOTA was all about Andy Serkis…and as we already know he’s returning…any of the first movie’s cast coming back will be bonus…

  8. We still have the return of the Icarus spacecraft to look forward to in this new series… I wonder who will follow Charlton Heston’s role in the film whenver that may be in the run of sequels?

  9. I will not miss him. He phoned in his performance anyway. Give the lead to an actor who isn’t zoned out half of the time.

  10. I am actually ok with no Franco. I liked the way they ended that part of the movie and would like to see more of the new world away from his character.

  11. If the first movie was the rise of the planet of the apes, is the planet of the apes a moon? The second movie is the dawn of the planet of the apes, so I think the fact that the first one rises would differentiate it from the second, which must be a sun. I don’t think a planet can be a moon or a sun though. I could be wrong.
    Oh yeah, and bye long Franco.

    • No, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is correct. As in the rise of Apes, The Fight for the Planet, not all will be affected by the Virus. When the apes conquer the planet, then it will be the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. When the Icarus Pilots return, then it will be the Fall of the Planet of the Apes.

      Rise to the dawn and fall by the end.

  12. The titles are a little bit muddled aren’t they? Its like the Twilight films which are all sort of moon related but no reference is really made to the title in the films…

  13. Thank goodness. What a God-awfull performance in the first movie!

  14. WHAT VIRUS DECIMATED THE HUMAN RACE??? I just dont remember a virus! there was the agent that made the apes smarter, but I remember a bunch of apes fighting people not a bunch of people dying from a virus!!! CAN ANYBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME… much thanks

    • It was the 2nd virus strain, the one Rodman’s character quit over and warned them against using. It was a strain of virus that was lethal to humans, but the company made it without Rodman’s support. I believe Franklin the lab tech was the 1st victim. He went to see Rodman at his house and ran into the jerk airline pilot neighbor and infected him, too.

    • watch the credits. it explains a lot.

  15. Damn I really wanted Franco in this one maybe he can still be a part of it.

  16. Maybe over the opening credits we see video of him either researching how to stop the virus or him on trial for having created it and giving the Apes intelligence. This could serve as the reason Caesar loses his sh*t with humanity even more for the death of his “father.” Either way, it’d be cool to see what happens next after the world is devastated by the virus and the Apes are not infected.

    • This idea interests me.

      I’d like not to think Ceasar was the demise of Franco’s character because the amount Ceasar cared for his father is what gave him so much depth.

  17. Wait isn’t Franco’s character sorta responsible for this? Thanks for ruining the world brah

  18. History repeats Itself.
    CHarloton Heston was also barely in the second Planet of the apes.
    I hope Franco gets a little bit-part though.

  19. wasnt impressed with his character anyway. he did not come off as a scientist at all.

  20. How come the virus kills human but not the apes?

    • Because we’re different species.

  21. James Franco should have beenviffered lead character. Caught by apes, cared by Ceasar, reflecting ape vs. Men rationalization of events.

  22. That’s BS!!!! James Franco was amazing in the movie so upset that he will not be in it!!! I hate you Mark Bomback I absolutely hate you!!!!! Franco should have defiantly been in the new one! C√©sar and Franco had such an amazing relationship built up in Rise of the planet of the apes…. Thanks a lot! I hate you!

  23. In other words, the producers did not want to pay Franco’s salary request…

  24. I think Franco’s character was outstanding. I hope they do an after story on what happened to him. Even though the story did focus on Andy Serkis, it was also in the middle with Franco as well! Hope he comes out on the next trilogy movie and not just a brief moment.