James Franco Goes ‘Ape’

The “Planet of The Apes” series is reportedly getting an origin story with James Franco.

According to Variety, the actor has signed on to star in a prequel to the series.

A mag source said James had a great meeting with director Rupert Wyatt over the weekend about the movie, that will be set in the present day and chronicle how genetic engineering gave the animals intelligence. The actor will reportedly play an important scientist in the midst of the war between man and ape.

The effects team WETA Digital, who wowed moviegoers with their work on “Avatar,” will reportedly use photo-realistic apes and not actors in costumes for the movie.

The “Apes” prequel is slated to start filming in July and will hit theaters on June 24, 2011.

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