Though many people went into Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes expecting James Franco to be the star of the film, it turned out that it was really Andy Serkis’ film, with the lesser known actor stealing the spotlight as the ape Caesar.
Seeing as the story revolved around apes taking over the planet from humans, it should come as no surprise that the film centered more around Caesar than it did around Franco’s character. With that in mind, it should also come as no surprise that despite having a large role in the first film, James Franco may not appear in the sequel.
The actor was set for a small cameo in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes but that was back when Rupert Wyatt was still attached to direct. Now that Matt Reeves has stepped in, Franco told MTV that he doesn’t think he’ll be appearing in the film anymore.
“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.”
Though the film is still in pre-production, I wouldn’t rule Franco out just yet, but at this point the odds are definitely not in his favour. I’d place my bets on his character getting mentioned in the sequel just so we have some closure in regards as to what happened to him. I don’t think they would just totally ignore his storyline and a mention seems like the easiest way to handle it.
Personally, I can’t say I’m too upset with James Franco not being included in the sequel. I didn’t love Rise of the Planet of the Apes but if there was one good thing about it, it was Andy Serkis’ powerful performance as Caesar. His character stole the movie and when I think about it, I would much rather Dawn of the Planet of the Apes focus solely on Caesar rather than have to split its story between Caesar and Franco’s Will Rodman.
What do you think? Should Dawn of the Planet of the Apes exclude James Franco?