James Franco unlikely to return for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

James-Franco-apes James Franco, who starred in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, may not be back for the sequel. Franco was originally scheduled to appear but that was when Rise’s director Rupert Wyatt was still going to direct. Now that Matt Reeves has taken over as director, Franco isn’t optimistic about his chances to appear in Dawn.

Also departing was Tim Rothman, former Fox co-chairman, who was important in Rise’s production. According to Franco, many of the human characters from Rise would be dead in the sequel, after a virus whipped out much of the world’s population, but Franco’s character would have either survived, or recorded a video for Caesar.

Franco’s character was allegedly supposed to die at the end of Rise, but was kept alive so that he could appear in the sequel; however that rewrite seems to have been in vain now. Maybe it’s just because I got finished watching Freaks and Geeks, but I think Franco’s likely departure from the series is a bit sad. His character was one of my favorite parts of an already great film.

Here’s what Franco had to say on the subject in a recent interview with MTV:

 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.