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After the failure to fully reprise his role of Dr. Will Rodman in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, James Franco seemed to be done with the sci-fi arm of 20th Century Fox. As it turns out, rumors are pointing to the possibility that we couldn't have been more wrong, as not only is Franco rumored to be back in the sci-fi game, but it's being reported that he may make an appearance in Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant.
The fan site AvP Galaxy claims to have landed exclusive information that states James Franco has been cast in the role of the captain of the titular ship, a character by the name of Branson. That's not the only significance of Branson's role, as he's also the husband to Daniels, Katherine Waterson's character and presumed protagonist. The details of the extent of his role mark him as a supporting character, as he allegedly appears in the first 10 minutes of the film, with sporadic recurrences throughout, and will also be featured in the viral marketing campaign.
While we're taking this news with a grain of salt, it certainly doesn't sound totally out of line. With James Franco just recently working with Fox on his work on Why Him, there's a chance that his participation in that film left the studio with a convenient way to pencil in for a potential role in Alien: Covenant. Not to mention the fact that the Alien franchise has, as of late, become a breeding ground for great ensembles, judging not only by Franco's potential cast members, but also the roster for this film's predecessor, Prometheus.
To be fair, should James Franco actually have landed a role in Alien: Covenant, this wouldn't be a bad thing. When Franco works with the right material, especially with the right helmers, the man can shine pretty brightly. So add Sir Ridley Scott to the director's column of that equation, and a scarier / bloodier Alien film into the material slot, and you've got quite possibly a perfect storm for a quick, but impressionable role. Not to mention, if his role is this relatively small in the film's action, he's more than likely going to exit the film in dramatic, gory fashion and/or be revealed to be a traitor.
If there's to be any confirmation or denial of this rumor, it doesn't sound like the footage shown at 20th Century Fox's big press event yesterday has any answers to that question. Though, there's always the possibility that those on hand for said footage have been sworn to secrecy about the exact details of what was shown from Alien: Covenant, so we'll have to wait for further information/folks doing the press rounds for Why Him to start digging for answers.
Alien: Covenant is slated for release on May 19th, 2017; and folks on the internet seem to be amped for the possibility of a trailer dropping at any time now. Seeing as we got War for the Planet of the Apes' trailer today, the possibility is out there, and could be a strong indicator of this rumor's validity, should it be attached to Why Him's December 22nd release date.