by: S. Scott Stanikmas
Matt Reeves’ upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes recently brought on Woody Harrelson and Gabriel Chavarria as the human components in the Ape vs. Man war, but the latest signing adds a bit of help to Andy Serkis’ simian side.
The Wrap reports that Steve Zahn has signed on for the third installment of the reimagined Apes franchise. The actor will put on a motion capture suit and play a CGI ape, similar to that of Andy Serkis’ lead character Caesar.
Zahn is known for comedic roles in films like Saving Silverman and That Thing You Do! He has done some dramatic acting, taking parts in such films as Rescue Dawn and Dallas Buyers Club as well as some voice acting in movies like The Good Dinosaur and Stuart Little but this is a whole new experience. Mocap performances are said to be a draining but rewarding endeavor.
Thankfully Matt Reeves is returning to the sci-fi franchise, having directed the amazing second installment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He also co-wrote the script alongside screenwriter Mark Bomback.
While details are scarce, the filmmaker did speak in broad terms about what direction the tertiary film would take:
As this story continues, we know that war is not avoided by the end of Dawn. That is going to take us into the world of what he is grappling with. Where he is going to be thrust into circumstances that he never, ever wanted to deal with, and was hoping he could avoid. And now he is right in the middle of it. The things that happen in that story test him in huge ways, in the ways in which his relationship with Koba haunts him deeply. It’s going to be an epic story. I think you’ve probably read that I sort of described it where in the first film was very much about his rise from humble beginnings to being a revolutionary. The second movie was about having to rise to the challenge of being a great leader in the most difficult of times. This is going to be the story that is going to cement his status as a seminal figure in ape history, and sort of leads to an almost biblical status. He is going to become like a mythic ape figure, like Moses.
Filming is scheduled to begin in Vancouver sometime soon, as War for the Planet of the Apes is penciled in for a July 14, 2017 release date.