There wasn’t much to expect from Rise of the Planet of the Apes going into it for the first time back in 2011, and while it featured a fairly impressive selling point with Andy Serkis providing motion-capture for the lead ape, Caesar, the trailers and even title just seemed to turn some audiences off initially. Then the film actually came out and surpassed every expectation fans of the original movies had, and reintroduced the property back into pop culture, with an awards-worthy performance from Serkis as Caesar.
Rise ended up being a very methodical, character study that incorporated its story into the original 1968 film’s timeline, and going into last year’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to say that fan expectations were high would probably be an understatement. The film delivered in every way imaginable too. It continued to escalate the conflict between the humans and the apes leading into future installments of the franchise, and also continued to develop Caesar into one of the best characters in cinema history.
According to a new report by THR too, it looks like the next film in the franchise – titled War of the Planet of the Apes – may have found its human villain as actor Woody Harrelson has reportedly been cast in the film as a new character. While not much about the movie itself is known yet, the report states that Harrelson will be playing a character called The Colonel, and will be one of the lead humans in the movie. Matt Reeves will be returning to direct following his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with a script by Mark Bomback.
While a lot about War is being kept under wraps for the time being, the continued evolution of Caesar’s character as well as the now full-blown battle between the humans and the Apes, should be enough to create an intriguing and cinematic continuation. Whether or not Harrelson will be the only villain in the movie is still unknown too, especially considering the slightly ambiguous end to Dawn‘s lead Ape villain, Koba (Toby Kebbell), and it’ll be interesting to see how the movie ends up showing the good and bad on both sides.
Considering how well the movies up until this point have done in creating morally grey characters, especially in Dawn, whether or not War will follow in the same path could end up being one of the biggest turning points in the franchise. With Caesar getting closer and closer to the end of his life though, and the timelines drawing closer to the beginning of the 1968 film, War may just be the most unpredictable installment in the franchise yet.
War of the Planet of the Apes is set to hit theatres on July 14th, 2017.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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