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Brian Cox in negotiations to join Rise of the Apes

The Wrap is reporting that Brian Cox is in final negotiations with 20th Century Fox to join Rise of the Apes. Cox will play “the villainous owner of a primate sanctuary who runs the facility without compassion for the animals that live there”.

Cox would join James Franco, James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and Andy Serkis. Rupert Wyatt will direct from a script written by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

Set in present day San Francisco, the origin story deals with the aftermath of man’s experiments with genetic engineering that lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

A chimp named Caesar (Serkis) leads the uprising among the apes after having been raised by Lithgow and Franco’s father-and-son scientist characters.

Rise of the Apes is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24, 2011.