So far, 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment have done a fantastic job of feeding ample amounts of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes plot information to potential audiences without giving away the entire story. But it appears the studios’ somewhat secretive ways worked a little too well, to the point that James Franco didn’t even realize that he had a cameo in Dawn. At least, we’re assuming that Franco didn’t know it, though it’s entirely possible this could just be a stunt to drum up publicity for his next movie, Do I Have a Cameo in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?
The most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly is the summer preview, and of course Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gets some attention. Knowing that Franco’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes character Will Rodman died in the viral plague that wiped out the planet’s population after the events of the first film, most of us have been wondering whether or not the character would get some kind of a nod in Dawn. The sidebar on the EW story reveals he will indeed make a posthumous appearance, though it isn’t explained how. But it appears no one actually got in touch with Franco about the part, which leads us to believe the footage will be something shot for but unused in the first film. (Though it could just be part of a horrible “Last time on the Planet of the Apes” recap.)
“Wait, I have a cameo?” He told EW. “I didn’t know that. You know, I don’t even think they asked my permission to do that.” He probably said this while stroking the fur of the world’s most endangered animal while typing out an urbanized adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses with his feet.
Franco has been a social media madman in recent weeks, topping off his April Fool’s “gag” of hitting on an underage girl via Instagram with a couple of bedroom selfies half-begging for more followers. It’s often unclear whether or not the things Franco does are in anticipation for upcoming projects, or if he’s just doing things that human beings do naturally.
The rest of the Dawn preview mostly relates facts we’ve already heard before from director Matt Reeves and star Andy Serkis. The plot is centered on Caesar and his primate crew living in a forest off the coast of California, eventually finding a group of human survivors — played by Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell, among others — and either a truce is agreed upon, or a war unlike any other is about to begin.
We’ll find out which side comes out ahead when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on July 11. (Hint: the apes always win.)