James Franco (Milk, Spider-Man) has landed the lead in “Rise of the Apes,” the upcoming prequel to the “Planet of the Apes” franchise.

Franco will play a scientist in modern times trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer’s using apes as animal testing subjects. His test ape, Caesar, takes on unnatural effects from the drug and begins to rapidly evolve. A medical anomaly, the scientist takes him home to shelter him from cruel doctors.

While we’re unsure about the vents that lead to the revolt, all answers should be reveled in this anticipated prequel as it sets in motion the eventual dominance of apes over humans seen the classic 1960s and ’70s movies.

Peter Jackson’s WETA effects house will handle the digital effects while the apes will be CGI rather than actors in costume. Groundbreaking technologies developed for “Avatar” will be used to create photo-realistic apes.

Director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) will direct, and the prequel will begin filming this summer in British Columbia.

“Rise of the Apes” currently has a June 24, 2011 release date.

Source: Heat Vision