Rise of the Apes

BATD ON Aug 03, 2010 AT 2:02 pm

James Franco on set on Rise of the Apes

James Franco on set on Rise of the Apes

Pineapple Express star James Franco will be taking on an action role in Rupert Wyatt’s new Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes

Franco began filming his scenes last week in the Canadian woods, though the movie is set in modern-day San Francisco. The 32-year-old actor, who recently filmed Eat, Pray, Love in India with Julia Roberts, will also be joined on the set of Rise of the Apes by Slumdog Millionaire’s Frieda Pinto.  Will there be a possible on-screen romance?  Let’s hope so.       

Franco plays a scientist whose experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes, and Pinto plays one of his scientist peers.  3rd Rock star John Lithgow, who recently won a Golden Globe for his serial killer role on season four of Showtime’s Dexter, will play Franco’s scientist father in the new film. 

James Franco on set of Rise of the Apes

James Franco on set of Rise of the Apes

Also joining the cast is Tom Felton, best known for his role as the evil Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise.  Felton will also play a villain in Rise of the Apes, as the son of Brian Cox’s character, an uncaring ape-facility owner.

Andy Serkis will play an ape named Caesar who leads the genetically-engineered species in an uprising against the humans who have enslaved them. But Serkis won’t be wearing a monkey suit – Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital effects house will instead be creating photo-realistic apes.  This is a change from Tim Burton’s use of costumed actors in his 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, which starred the hunky Mark Wahlberg. 

The movie is set to hit theatres in June of 2011.  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the chance to see the sexy Franco and the rest of this all-star cast in action!      

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