Woody Harrelson has landed a key role in director Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel, War of the Planet of the Apes. Harrelson will square off against Andy Serkis‘ Caesar as the human villain the latest Apes installment. Plot details being kept under wraps at this point, but THR reports that Harrelson will play a character called Colonel.
Going off of what we know about the film so far, which admittedly isn’t all that much, a villainous character called as Colonel fits right in. Most obviously because the freaking film title is War of the Planet of the Apes. Moreover, back when Reeves was doing the promotional rounds for Dawn, he told Steve that the original ending for that film went “one step further“, but was changed late in post-production before the effects were realized because he didn’t want to be “boxed in”. As Matt previously speculated, that ending would have likely seen the onset of the war between human and apes, indicated by a shot of a warship shown in an international trailer, not seen in the final cut of the film, and Dreyfus’ (Gary Oldman) warning to Malcolm (Jason Clarke) that the military was on their way.
Screenwriter Mark Bomback is returning as well, and Reeves previously teased the fact that the next film would see Caesar becoming a Moses-type seminal figure in ape history, who leads his people through the war he fought so hard to prevent.
Harrelson is the first major player added to the cast. Last month, we reported that Gabriel Chavarria joined the film in an undisclosed role, but THR’s latest report indicates that his part is minor. Dawn dropped the entire human cast from Rise of the Planet of the Apes — a move that made sense in the context of the story — so I’m interested to see if War will continue that trend.
War of the Planet of the Apes is set to arrive in theaters July 14, 2017