2024 Kingdom of Planet of the Apes Trailer Confirms Movie's Major Tie to James Franco's Will Rodman

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, James Franco

The latest trailer for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes confirmed a major tie to James Franco's Will Rodman, a character who appeared in the 2011 movie.

In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rodman is the scientist whose attempt at curing Alzheimer's disease leads to the fall of the human race, making room for evolved apes. Franco's character is also the one who raised Caesar himself, showing him the positive side of humanity—something not many apes have witnessed.

After Rise, Rodman was not seen again in any other installment in the franchise.

[ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes: Release, Cast & Everything We Know ]

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Gives Nod to James Franco

In the most recent trailer for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (as seen here), fans noticed a very familiar icon that harkens back to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and, more specifically, to both Caesar and James Franco's Will Rodman.

The symbol, which is a circle with a star-like shape in its center, can be seen on the wall of the rusting and decrepit ship where the apes are living in the upcoming movie.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
20th Century

The imagery can also be seen etched on the wall from afar, in the same crude fashion as when Caesar used to draw it himself.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
20th Century

The symbol depicts the window in the attic of the house of Franco's Will Rodman, the one which Caesar would always look out of while growing up.

James Franco's Will Rodman and Caesar in attic in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
20th Century

That window provided the one view of freedom for the ape, a dream he strived to achieve for all of his kind.

Planet of the Apes
20th Century

This is far from the first time the symbol of Caesar's window has cropped up. Throughout Matt Reeves' trilogy, the lead ape used that imagery to serve as a mantra for freedom.

Planet of the Apes
20th Century

[ Disney Confirms Caesar Twist In 2024 Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Movie ]

Caesar's Legacy Lives On

For those who might not know, it is important to note that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place a whopping 300 years after War for the Planet of the Apes. So, fans should not expect Caesar to make an appearance.

Likewise, it is probably best not to be looking for James Franco's Will Rodman either.

However, Caesar's legacy will remain an incredibly important part of the upcoming film—as previously confirmed by director Wes Ball on X (formerly Twitter).

The message and heart of Caesar will likely be reflected in the qualities of Noa, the new leader. Interestingly, the character is a chimpanzee born in a tribe that has no direct connection to Caesar himself.

Then there is Proximus Caesar, the antagonist of the movie, who is the antithesis of everything Caesar stood for, despite his title. Clearly, the apes need to be reminded of Caesar's ways, especially if his window imagery is still in use. 

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on May 10.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.