|Continuity||Rise of the Planet of the Apes|
| First Appearance: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Last Appearance: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Robert Franklin was a clumsy but good-natured chimp handler at the Gen-Sys Laboratories, where Dr. Will Rodman was researching a cure to Alzheimer's Disease. After being ordered to exterminate all chimps exposed to a potentially dangerous drug, Franklin discovered a new-born baby chimp who he could not bring himself to euthanize. Unable to rescue the chimp himself, due to his brother-in-law working in security, Franklin asked Rodman to raise the chimp, named Caesar.
Eight years later, chimp testing resumed at Gen-Sys and Franklin returned to his former role. While the refined ALZ-113 drug was tested on a bonobo named Koba, Franklin forgot to put his mask on properly and was infected with the virus. Realizing his mistake, Franklin tried to get to Will to tell him that he had been infected, and met Will's neighbour, Hunsiker. Franklin accidentally coughed blood on Hunsiker, passing the virus on to him, after which Hunsiker aggressively ordered him to leave. Soon after, Franklin's body was discovered in his apartment by his neighbour, Dottie. His body was bleeding in black color outside while he was still dead. The same would happen to Hunsiker and apparently, billions of humans worldwide.
Franklin was distinguished as being one of the only characters to care for the apes' well-being, at one point standing up to his unethical boss and proudly correcting Will's presumption of Caesar being a 'monkey.' He was also kind and was willing to take a then infant Caesar if his brother-in-law hadn't of worked in security. He was also known to have been clumsy as seen when he knocked his mask off his face, hence exposing him to the lethal ALZ-113 virus.
- Franklin's name is taken from Franklin J. Schaffner, director of the first Planet of the Apes movie.
- An earlier version of the script differed in the details of Franklin's fate. Instead of Franklin, it was a chimp handler named Evans (perhaps in reference to Maurice Evans) who was infected with the ALZ-113 virus in the operating theatre and died as a result. Caesar and Rocket escaped from their facility and broke into the lab in search of Caesar's mother. In return for a bracelet, Rocket freed the sinister Koba, who then killed Franklin before returning to his cage, effectively framing Caesar for the murder. Later, Koba deliberately infected Steven Jacobs with the fatal virus, who in turn infected Hunsiker.