Back in May, 20th Century Fox announced that they had lined up “127 Hours” and “Spider-Man” star James Franco to star in their “Planet of the Apes” prequel, “Rise of the Apes.” Production began in July and, according to our recent chat with Franco, he wrapped up his work on the film just before the Toronto Film Festival in September. He also said that he’s intrigued by the original films’ cult-like status. But does he consider himself a fan?
“To an extent,” he said. “I’m fascinated with the camp and cult aspects of those films.”
Which we followed with a joke that Franco likely plays a version of Ricardo Montalban’s Armando.
“Am I? You have to tell me,” Franco teased. “No actually this is a prequel so I don’t represent any character that is in the previous films,” he said.
Speaking of those previous films, does “Rise of the Apes” follow the themes or tones set by its predecessors?
“It does. There are a few connections,” Franco said. “But where the other films provide commentary about class relations, race relations, inter-species relations, different cultures clashing, this movie is more of a Frankenstein story,” he revealed.
“It’s a strange coincidence because Danny [Boyle] is about to do the stage production of “Frankenstein,” but this is really about man messing with science and the results of that.”
The film, directed by Rupert Wyatt, features an impressive supporting cast: Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis as revolutionary ape Caesar, a villainous Brian Cox and Tom Felton, who will play Cox’s son.