The sequel to 2011’s pleasantly surprising Rise of the Planet of the Apes has found its star. Though Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had a bit of a stumble in development as director Rupert Wyatt exited the film over creative differences, it appears that everything is now smoothly on track to begin production later this year under director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In). In the film’s first bit of casting, Zero Dark Thirty star Jason Clarke has been tapped to star in the pic, which will take place 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Hit the jump for more.
Per Heat Vision, Jason Clarke has been set in an unspecified role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This is a most excellent bit of casting, as Clarke was fantastic in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and did some great supporting work in last year’s Lawless. Though the plot of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is being kept under wraps, one focus of the story “is on the group of human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco.” Another part of the pic will center on the ape Caesar (played by Andy Serkis) and his struggle to maintain dominance over his kingdom. The first film’s James Franco is not expected to return, and the 15-year time jump should make for some interesting developments in the rise of the titular apes.
The producers are currently working off a draft of the script by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), and are eyeing a spring shoot. Clarke has deservedly been landing more high profile roles as of late, and he’s next set to film director William Monahan’s thriller Mojave opposite Oscar Isaac. He also appears in a supporting role in The Great Gatsby and as the main antagonist opposite Channing Tatum in the thriller White House Down. Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is set to hit theaters in 3D on May 23, 2014.