What Happened to Will Rodman


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Will Rodman, the central character in the 2011 science fiction film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” played a crucial role in the events that led to the rise of intelligent apes and the eventual downfall of human civilization. Many viewers have been left wondering about his ultimate fate following the film’s conclusion.

Will Rodman’s Role in the Film

In “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Will Rodman (portrayed by James Franco) is a scientist working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His research leads him to develop a retrovirus that dramatically enhances the intelligence of chimpanzees, including a young chimp named Caesar. As Caesar grows and develops, Will forms a close bond with him, ultimately leading to a series of events that change the course of history.

The Fate of Will Rodman

The film does not explicitly reveal what happens to Will Rodman after the events of the story. However, there are several theories and interpretations based on the film’s ending and the broader context of the Planet of the Apes franchise:

Theory 1: Will Rodman Succumbs to the Simian Flu

One popular theory suggests that Will Rodman may have fallen victim to the Simian Flu, a deadly virus that emerges as a result of his research. In the film’s sequel, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” it is revealed that the Simian Flu has wiped out a significant portion of the human population. Given Will’s close proximity to the source of the virus, it is plausible that he may have been among the casualties.

Theory 2: Will Rodman Survives and Goes into Hiding

Another possibility is that Will Rodman manages to survive the Simian Flu outbreak and goes into hiding to avoid the chaos and destruction that follows. As the apes begin to take over and human civilization crumbles, Will may have chosen to retreat and live a secluded life, possibly with a small group of survivors.

Theory 3: Will Rodman’s Fate is Left Ambiguous

The filmmakers may have intentionally left Will Rodman’s fate ambiguous to allow for viewer interpretation and to maintain focus on the larger narrative of the apes’ rise to dominance. By not providing a definitive answer, the story can continue to evolve without being tied down to a specific outcome for Will’s character.

The Legacy of Will Rodman

Regardless of his ultimate fate, Will Rodman’s actions in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” have a profound impact on the future of both apes and humans. His research and his relationship with Caesar set in motion a chain of events that leads to the intelligent apes’ rebellion and the eventual collapse of human civilization as we know it.

In a way, Will Rodman’s legacy lives on through Caesar and the other intelligent apes who go on to build their own society and forge a new path for their species. While Will’s physical presence may be absent in the subsequent films, his influence can still be felt in the ongoing struggle between apes and humans.


The fate of Will Rodman, the protagonist of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” remains a topic of speculation and debate among fans of the franchise. Whether he succumbed to the Simian Flu, survived in hiding, or simply had his story left open-ended, Will’s actions and decisions played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Planet of the Apes universe. As the series continues to evolve, viewers may gain new insights or interpretations regarding Will Rodman’s ultimate destiny.

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