Filmmakers, Apes Wanted Scientist James Franco Dead

October 3, 2011


Rise of the Planet of the Apes spoilers alert: despite being largely responsible for the ascension of super-smart apes to the eventual role of Earth's dominant species, Dr. James Franco manages to survive the initial onslaught of ape-on-man bridge violence. Phew, close one, James Franco! Next time, be more careful about what brain drugs you give to your chimps.

But! According to Fox postproduction president Ted Gagliano, Franco survival was not initially the final outcome of Apes. Unnamed "filmmakers" apparently first thought Franco should get offed out there, his giant Bluetooth symbolically shattered in a pool of blood and baboon poo (probably), and only later did anyone making this thing realize, "Shit, what if we want Scientist James Franco to shout something about damn, dirty apes in a sequel?" The decision to spare the good scientist was so last minute that Franco flew back to California to shoot the amended farewell scene on Fourth of July weekend, leaving postproduction workers only a month to render Caesar's closing "I think I'm going to move out to the woods for a while to find myself, James Franco," before the August 5th release. So that's something to look forward to in the DVD special features: a deleted scene of Franco getting chimp murdered. Also, probably a half-hour thing about Andy Serkis and motion capture that will be called "The Man Behind the Ape." I mean, there has to be that, right?

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