Thursday, September 17, 2015

Woody Harrelson to star in "War of the Planet of the Apes"

Planet of the Apes is the farthest thing from your typical Hollywood franchise, in every way, shape and form. Nobody expected much from Rise of the Planet of the Apes when it hit theaters in 2011, but surprisingly, thanks to Andy Serkis' brilliantly measured performance as Caesar and the terrific work done by WETA digital and director Rupert Wyatt, the film worked. The 2014 sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, brought back Serkis, but none of the principle human players of the cast. Matt Reeves took over the director's chair and the result was a distinctly unique and interesting spin on the Planet of the Apes story. But yet, once again, most of the main human players ended their stories in Dawn, leaving very little for Reeves to work with in the sequel. Will Jason Clarke and Keri Russell still return for a third film? I don't know, but it doesn't seem likely at this point. So with that said, Reeves is going to have to start fresh with new actors. But I don't think that'll really be a problem, as he's already put a fantastic actor into the third chapter of the franchise.

Woody Harrelson has been cast as Colonel in War of the Planet of the Apes, which is being reported as a villainous role. Harrelson, who recently wrapped production on Now You See Me 2 and the final chapter of the Hunger Games saga, will star as Lyndon B. Johnson in the upcoming film titled LBJ before heading off to star in the latest Apes film. Harrelson joins Andy Serkis, who is the only other cast member signed on for the film. This is a nearly perfect casting choice and I can totally see Harrelson in this role. War of the Planet of the Apes sounds like the film that I really wanted from Dawn, and I'm chomping at the bit to see what Reeves does here. While I haven't always been down with his direction for the franchise, there's no question in my mind that he is a smart and thoughtful filmmaker, someone with vision and heart who can make a terrific story. War of the Planet of the Apes is a must-see movie for every film fan, and with Harrelson as the principle member of the human cast, we may finally have a dynamic and interesting human character in this franchise. With War of the Planet of the Apes gearing up to head into production soon, I'm sure that we'll hear quite a bit more about the cast and the direction that Reeves is taking this third chapter. The film will debut in theaters on July 14, 2017.

Image Credits: Square Space

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