Last year’s surprise summer hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes posited a world in which all of human civilization is destroyed by apes all hopped up on James Franco's Alzheimer's-curing smarten-up-gas, and it looks like his character is paying the price for daring to play God by attempting to use science to cure disease. In an interview with MTV, Franco himself said that he’s unlikely to have a role in the planned 2014 sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
According to the notably non-ape actor, he was originally meant to have a short scene with Andy Serkis’s chimpvolutionary Caesar, but the film went through a round of director musical chairs (from Rise’s Rupert Wyatt to Matt Reeves) and the idea apparently fell by the wayside. The Planet of the Apes franchise will just have to get along without him, assuming the producers can keep coming up with more synonyms for “beginning.” Commencement of the Planet of the Apes? No, that just sounds like they’re graduating from middle school. We’ll get back to you.
Fans wondering about the fate of Franco’s character can take solace in the likelihood that he was merely killed and eaten by the massive army of apes that Caesar assembled in San Francisco during the last film. Which, as a Bay Area resident, I can assure you was extremely realistic. You wouldn’t believe how many apes we have around here. It’s a freakin’ chimp-a-palooza every damn day. Can’t even walk down the street without gorillas running all over the place, bonobos making out in alleys, marmosets getting all up in everyone’s biz. Apes. Nothin’ but apes.