CATEGORIES Movies
James Franco is climbing aboard 20th Century Fox's 'Planet of the Apes' prequel 'Rise of the Apes.' According to Variety, Franco will play a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes. The official Fox synopsis: Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man's experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. The film begins shooting July 5. James Franco is climbing aboard 20th Century Fox's 'Planet of the Apes' prequel 'Rise of the Apes.' According to Variety, Franco will play a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes. The official Fox synopsis: Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man's experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy. The film begins shooting July 5.

Dimension is scaring up its cast for 'Scream 4,' with Lake Bell in talks to join the franchise and with offers out to 'Twilight's' Ashley Greene, 'Heroes' Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin for starring roles. According to HeatVision, 'Scream 4' reunites Wes Craven with Kevin Williamson, and the story will bring back original cast members Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox. The film is scheduled for a July start.

It's a fanboy's dream: a documentary on San Diego's Comic-Con. Variety reports that Morgan Spurlock will direct and collaborate with Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles and Legendary Pictures' head Thomas Tull on 'Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope.' The documentary will follow seven fans as they get ready for and travel to Comic-Con, with shooting beginning June and finishing up at this year's convention, which runs July 22-25.

Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore have a hankering for 'Toast,' the film adaptation of famed food writer Nigel Slater's memoir. According to Screen Daily, they've signed up for the project, which follows Slater's childhood and adolescence in the English Midlands in the 1960s, set to the songs of Dusty Springfield. Carter will play Slater's stepmother and Highmore will play Slater at 15. The film, which begins shooting in June in England, will be made for TV in the UK but sold for theatrical internationally.

'Private Practice' star Chris Lowell is in negotiations to join the cast of DreamWorks' 'The Help,' based on Kathryn Stockett's novel about an aspiring writer in 1960s Mississippi who goes up against deep South mores and writes a book about black maids. Emma Stone stars as the writer, with Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard also starring. Lowell will play the writer's boyfriend, a senator's son who breaks up with her because of the book. [THR]

Romola Garai, star of the recent BBC miniseries production of Jane Austen's 'Emma,' is in talks to join Focus Features' romantic comedy 'One Day,' which stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as students who meet during their 1988 graduation and continue to meet one day a year for the next 20 years until they realize they were meant for each other. [THR]

Patrick Tatopoulos, who directed 'Underworld: Rise of the Lycans' and is in production on 2011's 'I, Frankenstein,' is in negotiations to take the helm of 'The Colony,' about a group of survivors forced underground by the next ice age. Summit Entertainment will distribute the film worldwide. [HeatVision]

indieWIRE has the first review of Doug Liman's 'Fair Game.' The politically-charged film deals with the outing of former CIA agent, Valerie Plame, and the results it had on her professional and personal life. Naomi Watts stars as Plame, with Sean Penn co-starring as her husband.

And, lastly, Gary Oldman has joined the voice cast of DreamWorks Animation's 'Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom,' which is slated for a summer 2011 release. Oldman, no stranger to villainous roles, will play a shady character named Peacock who helps star Jack Black's Po. [HeatVision]