20th Century Fox are hoping that their present day prequel to Planet of the Apes will rekindle the series after the Tim Burton Apes movie didn’t work out (though it is a far more interesting movie than people give it credit for), and Rise of the Apes has a star tonight in the form of James Franco.

Here’s Variety’s take on the synopsis and Franco’s role within the film,

Described as an origin story, “Apes” is set in present day San Francisco and deals with the aftermath of man’s experiments with genetic engineering that lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. Franco will play a driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.

Franco is a very likable presence and he’ll no doubt do director Rupert Wyatt’s instincts proud when he starts splicing genes and encountering CGI Apes.

The film will go before the cameras in July for a release scheduled for a year and a month’s time.