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“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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