Written by Gareth Carpenter

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Topics: Arsenal, planet

Friday, 26 December 2003

image for Keown to star in new Apes film
Keown comes into his own during casting

Arsenal footballer Martin Keown has landed a cameo role in the new Planet of the Apes film, set for release late next year.

The ex-England defender will play evil warrior-gorilla Aldo in a remake of the 1971 classic ‘Return to the Planet of the Apes', which will also feature Hollywood stars such as Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham-Carter and Tim Roth.

Director Tim Burton spotted Keown's potential after his performance against Manchester Utd earlier this season.

"Martin was very relaxed during casting and I think he could go a long way playing simian characters," he said. "The other advantage is that we're going to save a hell of a lot of money on make-up."

Keown is not the first footballer to go into acting. Ex-Utd star Eric Cantona managed a passable French accent in ‘Elizabeth I' while ex-Wimbledon and Chelsea hardman Vinny Jones starred in Guy Ritchie's ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' after being spotted by the British director assaulting various other players during his 15-year playing career.

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