Dr. Will Rodman in Planet Of The Apes
Movies - TV
What Happened To James Franco’s Planet Of The Apes Character?
In "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," James Franco's Dr. William "Will" Rodman tries to engineer a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, which blows up in his face horribly.
Some don’t realize what happened to Will after the events of "Rise." The idea was that Will and his girlfriend had died between the end of the film and the sequel.
As series producer Dylan Clark explained, the pair were "ground zero" for ALZ-113, a drug that was developed by Will. Proven to be deadly to humans, the drug killed them, too.
Clark also confirmed an alternate ending was shot but discarded in which Will is killed while saving Caesar. Instead, Will was a victim of his own manmade virus.
In Clark’s words, "When we developed the script it was Dr. Frankenstein — he must be punished for his involvement [...] So it seemed narratively correct."
However, there’s a rule in movies: if there's no body, then they're not dead. There's the slightest chance that Will could be alive in "War for the Planet of the Apes."