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James Franco versus damn dirty apes in Rise of the Apes

05.20.2010

While a lot of us recently realized just how funny James Franco is, now we'll have to try and take him seriously, even though he'll be dealing with a planet populated by talking warlike simians.

Franco has reportedly agreed to star in RISE OF THE APES, the "they're really making that?" reboot/prequel/whatever of the PLANET OF THE APES franchise. Brit Rupert Wyatt, who last directed the grimy prison movie THE ESCAPIST, is giving orders to the primates (and Franco).

The chiseled star is keeping plenty busy, working for giggles in the upcoming medieval stoner flick YOUR HIGHNESS and the just-announced RICKY STINICKY. But it was apparently his strong dramatic work in Danny Boyle's fact-based 127 HOURS, about a mountain climber who becomes trapped by a boulder and has to cut off his own arm to survive (spoiler?), that made Fox think the actor could support the monkey summer tentpole.

Production starts in July for a release in June 2011 (just a few weeks after Fox's rushed X-MEN FIRST CLASS is due). The story is set in San Francisco and will be a cautionary tale in which "man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy".

Unlike Tim Burton's 2001 attempt, the apes this time will be CGI bipeds provided by Oscar-winning FX house WETA.

Extra Tidbit: Sure, but will it be in 3D?!? Yeah, probably.

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