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James Franco Previews His 'Apes' and 'Oz' Prequels on 'Today' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 1st 2011 2:10PM
Matt Lauer and James Franco discuss 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' on 'Today' James Franco's been busy lately. Between his work on 'General Hospital,' hosting the Oscars and his frequent talk show appearances, we sometimes forget that he's also a movie star. Franco took a break from his varied activities to talk to Matt Lauer Monday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC) about two upcoming prequels in which he stars -- 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' and 'Oz, The Great and Powerful.'

Lauer said when he saw the original 'Planet of the Apes' decades ago, he didn't sleep for three-and-a half years. He asked Franco how high the "freakout factor" is in the new installment. "Actually, it's not a freakout movie," said Franco, struggling to hit on the right description. Lauer suggested "thoughtful," which Franco thought was apt. "It's a little bit of a character piece with feeling," he said.

Franco also gave a quick description of the Sam Raimi-directed 'Oz' film. "I play the young Wizard of Oz and it's the story of how the Wizard got there, before Dorothy came," he said. That's not scheduled to be released until 2013, and Franco has six other projects in the works between now and then to keep him busy, according to IMDB. And that's in addition to playing a serial killer on daytime TV.


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