James Franco Joins “Rise of the Apes”

James Franco will star in the upcoming franchise prequel “Rise of the Apes” for 20th Century Fox reports Deadline.

The cautionary tale is set in San Francisco in which man’s experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. Franco plays a young scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war.

Rupert Wyatt (“The Escapist”) directs from a screenplay by Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa. Both scribes along with Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce.

The apes this time will be CG-animated with WETA Digital handling the effects. Shooting kicks off July 5th for a release on June 24th 2011.