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Is James Franco Being Shut Out of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'?

Fox's Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has certainly undergone a number of behind the scenes issues lately. The latest might find the film without star James Franco.

Speaking with MTV, Franco said, "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 there 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 like on video that was left behind, but then a lot of things happened, like [former Fox co-chariman] 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 it I won't be in it. Nobody's talking to me since Rupert left."

Matt Reeves has since stepped into the directing role following Wyatt's departure. The plot has pretty much been kept under wraps since the project was announced.

Andy Serkis remains the only actor from Rise who will return, reprising his role of Caesar. If Franco's character is being removed from Dawn, we can pretty much assume Freida Pinto's Caroline (Franco's love interest from Rise) is also not a part of this sequel, though we'll have to wait for official confirmation on that casting exclusion.

So where does that leave us? Two hours of CGI apes running wild?

It seems at this point, based on Franco's minor plot revelation, that whoever the lead human character is, will most likely play the antagonist role to Caesar and the apes.

Do you think Franco should be a part of this movie or should Dawn cast a new lead? Should there be a human "good guy" character?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is slated for a May 23, 2014 release.

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