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James Franco To Appear in Dawn of The Planet of The Apes

We’ve all known for some time that the sequel to Rise of The Planet of The Apes is going to be set some 22 years after the events of the first. Meaning our main protagonist from the first will most probably have been killed by the virus outbreak. However, director Matt Reeves (new at the helm, replacing Rupert Wyatt from the first) suggests we may not have seen the end of James Franco’s character.

“There is an appearance that he makes,” teases Reeves, before expanding, “there’s no reprise of the footage that they shot of his death or anything like that.”

“Essentially the idea is that Caesar has ties to both communities, to the humans because he has a human father in Will, who died in the viral apocalypse, and then he has the apes who are his family now, so of course he has ties to both.”

“So, in a way that I won’t totally give away, we essentially have a moment where you have Caesar sort of reminiscing or connecting to who Will was and what he meant to him.”

So it will unfortunately only be a cameo, but at least we may see the final hours, or moments of Will. Whether it will just be unused footage from the first film or not, we’ll have to wait and see.

Will and Cesar sharing a moment from the first.


There is no doubt that what made the first film so powerful was the emotional connection Cesar had with Will. How they bonded as separate species posed an emotional theme of family, and how loved ones will always protect you. As the apes probably would have killed Will if he did not have a connection with Cesar. Will never looked down on the apes or belittled them, as other humans did. The film talked about respect for others in that way too – how we can be all equal; however, the overall ignorance of the world will be its downfall.

So what will Dawn of The Planet of The Apes provide as themes this time?

Obviously, judging by the trailers there will be plenty of bloodshed from the battle between humans and the apes. With the stakes from the first reversed so the apes finally have the upper hand – with Cesar leading the army of apes.

Also, who will replace James Franco with a great performance to heighten the quality?

Well take your pick: the cast is packed with stars from the likes of Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis (returning as our favourite ape, Cesar) and Judy Greer, who all look set to play key roles in the film, meaning some have gone to extremes to prepare for their roles, for instance, Mo-cap master, Andy Serkis who allegedly had to go to “ape camp” for his preparation.

Excited already?

Well we’re just going to have to wait a bit longer as Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is due to release on the 11th of July (USA).

To ease the pain of waiting, check out the trailer below.


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