As the cash-cow Harry Potter film franchise comes to a close, many of the young thespians who helped bring J.K. Rowling's beloved literary series to life find themselves at a crossroads in their respective careers. Though stars like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson surely have lucrative offers coming in (Radcliffe just signed on for another gig today - the supernatural thriller The Woman In Black - and Watson will likely work on another adaptation - the coming of age drama Perks of Being A Wallflower), many wonder whether or not supporting players like Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) will have as much luck in the business.
It seems that, as of today, you can add Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) to the list of actors who will continue to land significant roles in Hollywood. The young performer will work on 20th Century Fox's Rise of the Apes, the prequel to the studio's treasured Planet of the Apes franchise.
Fox announced that Felton will play the son of Brian Cox's unnamed owner of an ape holding facility, which he'll assist in running. The role puts Felton in league with the likes of James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow and Andy Serkis. Rupert Wyatt is directing the film, which is currently shooting and aiming for a June 24th 2011 release. Set in present day San Francisco, Rise of the Apes is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
Felton has always been impressive as an antagonist. He's undeniably gotten better as he's grown, and there's sure to be a meaty role with some depth in Rise of the Apes for him as he shares the screen with the incredibly gifted Cox. I'm sure that he can learn a thing or two about cinematic villainy from the Emmy winner, who has consistently played memorable baddies throughout his career in films like Manhunter, X2, The Bourne Supremacy and Troy.
Source: 20th Century Fox