Back in 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in theaters to obvious critical and commercial success. Many claimed that one of the best aspects of the film was the main character Caesar the Ape, and the wonderfully expressive motion capture performance by actor Andy Serkis. He was easily the best and most memorable aspect of the film. Apparently though, James Franco had a part in the movie too. He had a character name and everything! But if the actor is to be believed, he won’t be returning for the sci-fi sequel. He won’t be making an appearance in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at all, make zero impression what so ever upon the film. So basically, nothing much will really change.
During an interview with MTV, Franco revealed that he will most likely not be returning for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the 2014 sequel to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Franco said that, when the film was still under the guise of original director Rupert Wyatt, he would have had a part. But now that it’s being directed by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, that prospect seems less and less likely everyday:
“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.”
Obviously I’m being facetious in saying that Franco didn’t leave an impression during Rise of the Planet of the Apes—his performance was solid, and his impact on Casesar’s life is one of the driving forces behind that film. But as a character himself, Franco brought little to the table, with his romantic subplot with Freida Pinto being one of the weakest aspects of Rise. So hearing Franco say he won’t return doesn’t only not surprise me, but it also reminds me how little I care about the return of Will in general. This is Caesar’s franchise now, and I think it would be fine to eliminate the (mostly boring) human lead. And don’t worry too much about Franco—he always has that cool Oz money to full back on next year.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters May 23, 2014.