A man who has been in the news only a few days ago, James Franco will star in the upcoming franchise prequel Rise of the Apes, according to the folks at Deadline, via Darkhorizons.com.

The Escapist helmer Rupert Wyatt is directing the film, that previously had Tobey Maguire all but locked to play the lead role - evidently he wanted too much input into the script and bailed, and producers then turned to his Spiderman co-star.

The film is centred on man's messing around with genetic engineering in San Francisco, which basically leads to intelligent apes - who then proceed to own our shit. Franco will play a young scientist heavily involved with the project.

With the Danny Boyle directed 127 Hours, the Irish shot Your Highness, and the recently announced Ricky Stinicky, Franco is a busy man. This big budgeted flick will start shooting in July for a tent pole release next summer.