During New York Comic Con, director Matt Reeves and actor Andy Serkis got together to show fans footage from War for the Planet of the Apes. This same, still uncompleted clip was screened again for press at various Fox preview events, showing a young, mute girl in the company of Caesar and his apes. Now, thanks to a new piece of concert art from the film, we have a name: Nova, played by Amiah Miller. You can check out the image of the art right below:
EW revealed the new imagery, showing a rare, peaceful moment amid of the chaos of the flower. “The battle is not just between the humans and the apes, but in Caesar’s soul,” Reeves said. “The girl is his pull back to his empathy and — for lack of a better word — his human side.”
If the name Nova sounds familiar, it should—Linda Harrison played Nova opposite Charlton Heston in the first Planet of the Apes as well as its sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes. And EW confirms that the Nova in War of the Planet of the Apes is indeed the same character from the original film, offering up the strongest piece of connective tissue between this new franchise and the original aside from the inclusion of Caesar.
War picks up two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in which the apes have already been fighting against the last remaining human soldiers, led by the Colonel (Woody Harrelson). At the beginning of the film, the apes have already retreated into the woods, where they have an advantage, and Caesar has lost most of his empathy for humans, becoming a cold, hardened leader. In an attempt to end the fighting, he sets out on a mission with a small envoy to assassinate the Colonel, but along the way he encounters Nova.
In the footage, parts of which appear in the trailer, Caesar and his apes kill her father after stumbling upon their home. Maurice is the one who convinces Caesar to take her with them, fearing she will die on her own.
You can see more of how Nova is introduced in War for the Planet of the Apes, set for release on July 14.