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Kodi Smit-McPhee Reunites With Matt Reeves For 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes'

by Edward Davis
February 23, 2013 3:00 PM
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Kodi Smit-McPhee, Matt Reeves

In a season that saw big, expected hits like "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Green Lantern" fumble hard, 20th Century Fox's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was the surprise summer hit of 2011. Released in early August, many weren't expecting a lot from the film (especially critics) given its motley crew cast and its lead, James Franco, who seemed like he was performing in the wrong movie. It didn't matter. The MVPs of the film were the extraordinarily realistic (and suprisingly emotional) CGI apes, the motion capture work of Andy Serkis as lead ape Caesar,  and director Rupert Wyatt, who quickly saw his name shoot up to the most-wanted list. The film took in close to $500 million worldwide and so obviously, a sequel was green lit.

But franchise cynicism aside, the sequel, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" sounds better and better with each passing day. Sure, there were bumps along the way on the road to development: Wyatt bailed, James Franco said he would not return and "Contagion" writer Scott Z. Burns' script was ditched in favor of one by "Live Free Or Die Hard" screenwriter Mark Bomback, but the list of talent involved is great. "Cloverfield" filmmaker Matt Reeves is directing, "Zero Dark Thirty" breakout star Jason Clarke was recently announced as part of the ensemble and just announced as part of the cast is Kodi Smit-McPhee, the co-lead of Reeves' last excellent vampire drama, "Let Me In."

The now 16-year-old Smit-McPhee also appeared in John Hillcoat's "The Road" and has at least two more interesting project set to come out, including Ari Folman's "The Congress" with Robin Wright and Jake Paltrow's "The Young Ones" with Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning. Also on the way is a new version of "Romeo & Juliet" starring Hailee Steinfeld as adapted by "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes wherein Smit-McPhee will play Benvolio.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is set to arrive in theaters May 23, 2014.

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  • DG | February 23, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    I don't know, ditching a Scott Z. Burns script in favor of Live Free or Die Hard guy sounds like a pretty big fuck up right out the gate. Hopefully this can recover, the first one was entertaining.

  • Another attack on Franco | February 23, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    "given its motley crew cast and its lead, James Franco, who seemed like he was performing in the wrong movie", this site really can't help itself when it comes to Franco. He MUST be doing something right to generate so much hate.

    Sorry, but he was perfect in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

    Why do you even bother discussing Franco's movies on this site? You're so negative is pointless reading....

  • ANOTHER ATTACK ON FRANCO | February 23, 2013 8:23 PM

    @EDWARD, I agree he's great but it isn't really for you say that he didn't belong in this movie, we could argue those sentiments with every actor or actress.

    The director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes stated the following summary quote: Franco fitted the role perfectly because he's a great character actor, I believed in him as an actor and that's because he's a very natural actor.

    Clearly, he didn't see Franco in the final product as awkward, and out of place CGI tentpole. Let's agree to disagree, because many audiences truly enjoyed his performance and are tweeting that they will miss him, if he doesn't come back. Regarding "He can act, let him really do it", I don't think Franco needs to prove himself, he has shown this for many years (one of the best actors of our generation) in roles like Freaks and Geeks, James Dean, Howl, Pineapple Express, 127 Hours (Oscar nominated), Spring Breakers, Milk, City By The Sea, The Green Hornet, Date Night, Spiderman series etc (yes, believe it or not a great many loved him in that too and spoke about him fondly, when the new franchise came out, as missing him), and from early reports he's perfectly great in Oz the Great and Powerful too (however, I don't expect this website to project that in a review, that has Franco attached to it).

    Anyway, good luck to this new kid Kodi Smit-McPhee, I'm sure he will be awesome..

  • Edward | February 23, 2013 5:43 PM

    Franco's great. He just doesn't really belong in this movie and we're hardly the first people to say that. He just feels awkward and out of place in a CGI tentpole. He can act, let him really do it.

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