The Sacred Scrolls

Will Rodman

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Will Rodman
Dr. Will Rodman
Biographical information
Gender Male
Species Human
Continuity Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Actor James Franco
First Appearance Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Last Appearance Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Caesar. I'm sorry. This is my fault. This has to stop. This isn't the way, you know what they're capable of. Please come home. If you come home, I'll protect you.
Will to Caesar

William "Will" Rodman was the son of Charles Rodman, the adoptive human father of Caesar, and the boyfriend of Caroline Aranha. Through his connection to Caesar, Will unknowingly became the adoptive human grandfather of Caesar's two young sons. He was the scientist who was responsible for the creation of ALZ-112, the so-called cure for Alzheimer's Disease. Like Robert Franklin, Will was one of the rare employees at Gen-Sys Laboratories who actually did care for animal test subjects, such as Bright Eyes, and did not simply see them as experiments. Will tried to record and communicate the results of Bright Eyes' successful completion of the Lucas Tower. When Bright Eyes attacked employees trying to lure her out of her cage, Will was explaining the effects of ALZ-112 on Bright Eyes to Jacobs and the board members of the lab company, specifically on her eyes. Bright Eyes was shot by a security guard despite Will trying to stop him from shooting her. Franklin decided to give Bright Eyes' offspring to Will. Will did not want to look after the young chimp, but had no choice.

He raised Caesar in his home and acted as a father figure to him. Will's father, Charles Rodman, who was living with him, grew attached to Caesar and helped raise him. Will noted Caesar's growing intelligence - a result of the effects of the ALZ-112 inherited from his mother - at age 3, when Caesar memorized 24 English words. It was not until Caesar was fully grown that Will admitted that his true mother had died in the lab, after Caesar asked if he was just a pet animal to Will during a trip to the Muir Woods Park. Caesar later attacked Will's neighbour, Hunsiker, to prevent him from further threatening Charles, which forced Will to put Caesar into the San Bruno Primate Shelter. Caesar desperately wanted to return to Caroline and Will when he was locked inside the facility, but could not. Will later tested the ALZ-113 drug, which was stronger than ALZ-112, at the Gen-Sys Laboratory, but Will's father, Charles, passed away before he could get the results of the tests. He was also partially responsible for the pandemic that began with the new "cure".


Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit


Will was a kind yet desperate man. Being the sole carer of his Alzheimer's stricken father other then his nurse, Will learned to juggle his responsibilities along with his workload. After adopting Caesar, Will became a single parent showing his paternal and (over) protective side. Will was also seen to be selfless as he put the wellbeings both of Caesar and Charles before his own. When it came to his work, Will was said to be the star of Gen-Sys before taking in and raising Caesar. His star status was provoked by Jacobs when Will failed to show up for work everyday in order to raise Caesar and care for his father after the nurse quits and to focus on making sure that the ALZ-112 worked accordingly.


  • It is also coincidentally a partial anagram of Armando, which, seeing as they both raised their own Caesar, is a further link between the 2011 reboot and the original films.
  • An earlier version of the script indicated that "Will" was short for "Wilson Rodman", a reference to the other writer credited on the original movie, Michael Wilson. In the same script, Will's father often addresses Will as "John", but Will reminds him that "John is gone". After his father's death, Will looks at an old photo showing his father with two teenage sons. Later, Will goes to the primate facility after Caesar has taken over and, believing Caesar to have murdered Robert Franklin, decides he has to kill Caesar to prevent further bloodshed. However, Cornelia eats the poisoned cookie Will offered to Caesar and dies before the apes reach the Golden Gate Bridge. Later, after discovering that it was Koba who killed Franklin, Will goes to the redwood forest to negotiate a peaceful outcome with Caesar, but the police renege on their agreement with Will and follow him in order to shoot as many apes as possible. Will takes a bullet intended for Caesar, and dies in his arms as the apes ambush the police and slaughter them.
  • In the original filmed climax to the movie, this plot was modified so that John Landon follows Will into the forest with a shotgun and Will gets shot protecting Caesar. Landon is then killed by the apes and Koba takes Landon's gun. A test audience was shown this ending and reacted negatively, and so a different ending was shot on July 4 weekend, 2011, in Griffith Park, with a slightly more positive feel.[1]
  • "Will" was also the name of the main character in a failed mid-"90s" Apes movie project named Return of the Apes, which producer Peter Chernin had also been involved in.
  • Tobey Maguire & Bobby Campo were considered for the role of Will.
  • It is speculated that Will and Caroline would have died from the virus by the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as James Franco and Freida Pinto were not asked to reprise their roles.
  • If Will and Caroline did die from the outbreak of the ALZ-113 (Simian) Flu, it can be assumed that they were caught in the crossfire of the virus outbreak that was mentioned in the Comic Con teaser by Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) that lasted 4 years before the battle caused the humans to turn on each other.
  • Will might be mentioned in some way as the "ALZ-113" is seen printed on a wall in San Francisco in Dawn.
  • Much like Armando in the original films, Will most likely never got to see the kingdom that Caesar created from the ground up let alone meet Caesar's own thriving family consisting of his wife (Cornelia) and his two sons.
  • It is possible that the human protagonist of Dawn, Malcolm is Will's older brother.
  • Keri Russell's character, Ellie makes an indirect mention to Will in the footage shown at CinemaCon 2014. She says that the Simian Flu was created by humans while arguing with another male character.
  • In an article by USA Today, it says that Will and possibly Caroline (not mentioned) died from the Simian Flu.
  • In a recent interview, written while Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was still being filmed, there was a mention by the interviewer to Andy Serkis about the fate of Will and about how Will's fate will be addressed. Not wanting to give too much away, Serkis mentioned that there will be a direct mention of Will as there will be a scene (not known whether it will remain in the final film) where the apes (and/or humans) end up at the Rodman House.
  • Will is likely to make a cameo in a flashback of some kind in Dawn as a form of closure for Caesar and resolve the reason as to why he ends up at the old Rodman house. Though James Franco didn't film any new footage it can be assumed that Caesar may have a flashback of his time at the house or even there may be the remains of photos that were taken when Caesar was younger. Franco said in an interview with EW that he had no knowledge of the cameo. The footage could so be the unused ending that was originally supposed to be in Rise as a way of revealing how Will died or it could be unused footage that never made it into the final cut of Rise.

Image GalleryEdit


  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes Q & A Podcast - The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith (December 13, 2011)

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