Caesar is back! Motion-capture master actor Andy Serkis reprises his role as the simian leader in the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the Brit thespian was joined by co-stars Keri Russell and Jason Clarke as well as director Matt Reeves at Comic-Con in San Diego over the weekend to talk up their highly anticipated sequel and reveal certain plot secrets -- as well as confirm whether or not James Franco returns for the film.
"No," says Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) plainly. "That story finished up beautifully in the first film, and let's put it this way – he's a big part of where this [story] comes from and who Caesar is, so in that sense his presence is majorly in the film."
In 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Franco played a dedicated scientist Franco who developed a miracle Alzheimer's cure, only to see the serum's side-effects result in increased intelligence, and mankind quickly found an ape rebellion on its hands. Reeves explains what happens next...
"As everybody knows, the last film ended with a sort of outbreak of the simian flu, and we come in 10 years later after, basically, the human race has been decimated, and we're in the world of apes," he says. "We're following [Andy's character] and we see what he's created, a kind of kingdom in the woods, and you meet his family and you see what kind of leader he is. And just as they pretty much believe that the humans must all be gone, they run into some humans, and the question is whether or not they can co-exist."
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes invades theaters July 18, 2014.