October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Rise of the Apes” lures John Lithgow, Freida Pinto

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A few more “monkeys” are swinging toward that “Planet of the Apes” prequel.

John Lithgow and Frieda Pinto have joined a cast that already is headlined by James Franco, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Franco is playing a scientist who, while researching Alzheimer’s disease, morphs into an ape named Caesar. Lithgow, it’s being reported, will play Franco’s father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Pinto plays a fellow scientist.

IMDB.com also has Don Cheadle linked to the project, though that remains a rumor at this time.

“Rise of the Apes” will be directed by Rupert Wyatt, who helmed the impressive “The Escapist” with Brian Cox and Joseph Fiennes. That gives me hope, because after Tim Burton’s flawed “Apes” reboot, I got the sense that this franchise was out of gas. We’ll find out next year if there are more “Apes” stories worth telling. The movie is scheduled to open on June 24.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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