We previously reported that James Franco might reprise his role as Will in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. However, that was when Rise director Rupert Wyatt was still attached to the project. Now that Wyatt has left and Matt Reeves (Let Me In) has come on board, it looks like Franco won’t be needed.
Hit the jump for more. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due out May 23, 2014.
Speaking to MTV, Franco explained his likely absence in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:
I was going to be a small part of the next one. There was a moment when Rupert Wyatt was going to direct the second one. A lot of the human characters that were in the first movie were dead in the sequel that Rupert was going to direct. But there was one scene, between Caesar and my character, maybe even just like on a video that was left behind, but then a lot of things happened, like [former Fox co-chairman] Tom Rothman who was a big part of the first movie, left. Now Rupert’s not a part of it so I don’t know. My guess is I won’t be in it. Nobody’s talked to me since Rupert left.
A moment with Franco’s character would be a little bittersweet since it would remind Caesar (Andy Serkis) that although apes now rule the planet, not all humans were bad, and he lost a friend in the plague. I don’t think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be damaged by Franco’s absence, but it probably would have been a nice addition.