Brian Cox Joins Loaded Cast of ‘Rise of the Apes’

There’s already a talented lineup for Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Apes, but now add Brian Cox to the list as well. The Wrap is reporting that the Emmy-award winning actor has joined James Franco, John Lithgow, Don Cheadle, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis in the science fiction film.

Cox has worked with Wyatt before on 2008’s The Escapist, but he face is perhaps most widely recognized from his turn in Troy (as Agamemnon) and the first two Bourne films (as Ward Abbott). In Apes, Cox will play “the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary who runs the facility without compassion for the animals that live there.”

James Franco is cast as the lead in this one; “a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.” Lithgow will play Franco’s father while Pinto will play a primatologist who helps Franco, and Serkis will play as the chimp who leads the simian revolt. Yup – another motion-capture part for Mr. Gollum.

As far as the story goes, there isn’t too much known yet. Fox has released an official synopsis, so see what you can make of it:

RISE OF THE APES (tentative title) is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Rise of the Apes is currently slated for theaters June 14, 2011, but we all know how likely it is that date will change. We’ll keep you posted as new details emerge.

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