After a slight bump during the development for ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, the film seems to be back on track and has found their lead actor. According to THR, Jason Clarke has signed on to star in the sequel to 2011’s ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’.
Clarke has appeared in several television shows and films including ‘Brotherhood’, ‘The Chicago Code’ and even had a short stint playing Captain Jeneck in the series ‘Farscape’. But it was his work in the role of Dan in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ that got Hollywood’s attention to consider him as leading man material.
While Clarke’s exact role in the film has not been disclosed, what has been revealed is that the movie will be set 15 years after the first film that James Franco starred in. Plot details are still being held close to the chest, but it’s rumored that one aspect of the film may focus on the “human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco” with a sub-story of the “struggle of intelligent ape, Caesar (played by Andy Serkis), to maintain dominance over his kingdom.” The script was written by Mark Bomback who is credited for scribing the screenplays for ‘The Wolverine’, ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Escape to Witch Mountain.’
Originally, Rupert Wyatt (who helmed ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’) was to direct the sequel, but bowed out of the project once it was announced that the film would have a May 2014 release date. Wyatt felt that the tight production schedule would jeopardize the quality of the film. Soon after, Mark Reeves (‘Let Me In’, ‘Cloverfield’) was hired to replace him.
Unfortunately, with the replacement of Wyatt came the realization that James Franco would not be appearing in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’. When Wyatt was attached to the film, Franco was to have a small part in the sequel. Since his departure, changes were made to the script and Franco has not heard from Reeves or Fox studios as to whether he would still have a cameo. With filming scheduled to begin in the spring, the likelihood seems to be diminishing that we’ll be seeing Caesar’s human friend reprised.
Clarke will be next seen the in Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle ‘The Great Gatsby’ playing the role of the cuckold mechanic George Wilson.
‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is slated to be released on May 24, 2014.