James Franco is awesome and kind of weird, which is why it really shouldn't have been too much of a surprise to learn that he had signed on to star in FOX's "Planet of the Apes" prequel, "Rise of the Apes." I mean, it seems like it's a bad career move, because there is no way this movie could possibly be good. It's a remake of a decades old movie that was the subject of one of the suckier remakes in recent memory. Franco's involvement forces me to completely reevaluate all my preconceived notions about the project though. After all, not only did he manage to make his scenes in "Spider-Man 3" thoroughly entertaining, but he was savvy enough to know that playing the role of an "artist whose canvas is murder" on a daytime soap opera was at least 50/50 on the batshit crazy to brilliant scale.
When I first heard this news, my head was immediately filled with delightful images of an ape enjoying the crap out of a piece of pie, as I naturally assumed he would be playing Caesar, the ape that would eventually lead the revolution against humanity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this is sadly not the case:
Rupert Wyatt is on board to direct the feature project, which focuses on a scientist (Franco) who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's that is being tested on apes. The test subject named Caesar starts to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors.
It seems like he'll be playing Ricardo Montalban's role from "Esacpe from the Planet of the Apes" and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," but as a scientist instead of circus owner, which is a shame really. Circuses are fun. The article also states that "The story is designed to be show the modern-day event that set in motion the eventual dominance of apes over humans seen the classic 1960s and '70s movies," which was already done in the aforementioned films featuring Ricardo Montalban, meaning that "Rise of the Apes" really just needs to be it's own thing or it completely screws up the preexisting timeline of the movies, but whatever...apes will rise.
Why would anyone think that making any "Planet of the Apes" movie was a good idea after Tim Burton's remake? I have no idea. I don't even think that movie was successful. Maybe James Franco's just trying to do his part to help warn humanity against the impending Chimpocalypse. The point is, James Franco makes stupid things fun, and this is stupid with talking apes.