James Franco in First Rise of the Apes Image

Fox has released the first image from this fall’s Rise of the Apes film starring James Franco. Truth be told it isn’t much more than Franco sitting at a desk but at least it’s a start for the prequel/reboot of Planet of the Apes.

The timing of this image could indicate that Fox is thinking of promoting Rise of the Apes during this Sunday’s 2011 Academy Awards show. Franco is co-hosting the Hollywood back-patting shindig with Anne Hathaway so he could either be involved in some sort of spoof skit or Fox could fork out for a teaser TV spot.

In any event we’ve entered the window when more than a single effects-free image from Rise of the Apes should start making the rounds.

In addition to Franco, Rise of the Apes stars Andy Serkis performing mo-cap duties as the great ape Caesar, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Freida Pinto, Tom Felton and David Hewlett. Look for the first Planet of the Apes franchise film with all-CGI apes in theaters just before Thanksgiving on November 23.

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