The first picture from the film “Rise of the Apes” has been released, according to CinemaBlend. In the picture, we see James Franco with a bluetooth-type headset on, looking seriously and thoughtfully in a scientific type of setting (we see x-rays and scientific equipment surrounding Franco’s character). Apparently, something serious is going on.

This blogger is a “Planet of the Apes” fanatic (the ’60s version, not the 2001 version), so this news is very exciting to me. And, even though it’s extremely difficult-verging-on-impossible to examine a movie from one picture, it would seem that there is some type care being taken with this movie. Again, it’s really impossible to judge a movie from one still. But it’s still a very interesting picture, even though we don’t really see anything going on.

What we can deduce, however, is that Franco’s character is studying something dealing with the speech portions of an ape’s brain since that’s the main part of the plot. The plot of this film is supposed to be a remake of the vintage “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”, chronicling how Caesar became the first ape to talk through the study of genetic testing and experimentation, leading to the demise of humankind as we know it.

If you’ll recall in the original “Conquest”, Caesar, played by Roddy McDowall, was the son of Zira and Cornelius (also played by Roddy McDowall when the character was featured in the “Planet of the Apes” and “Escape from the Planet of the Apes”). In that film, Caesar was raised by a circus owner (Ricardo Montalban) and became the Che Guevara/Malcom X/Black Panther-esque leader of apes who were turned into slaves by humans.

Like I stated, I’m a “Planet of the Apes” junkie, so this movie has been on my personal radar for a while, and after seeing the first picture, it looks like there could be an actual storyline in the film that I can get behind. Of course, that’ll never make it a part of the original series, but a good story is a good story, and I hope this picture is the first of more good things to come.

The film, also starring Tom Felton, Andy Serkis (as Caesar), Freida Pinto, Brian Cox, and John Lithgow, will be in theaters November 23, 2011.

James Franco in Rise of the Apes
James Franco in Rise of the Apes

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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