The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Woody Harrelson (True Detective) has signed on to join director Matt Reeves‘ (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) in the 3rd film of the rebooted franchise called War of the Planet of the Apes. Harrelson will be the main human villain within this film and will be known as The Colonel.
"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."
Director Matt Reeves also talked about how War of the Planet of the Apes will fit into the larger context of Planet of the Apes:
"[We want] the story to be able to connect from the human to the ape world. So first one, [Rise of the Planet of the Apes] is this sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary. In Dawn, he rose to the occasion of becoming a leader, a great leader in really challenging difficult times. The notion of what we’re after in the third is continue that trajectory to how he becomes the seminal figure in ape history and almost becomes sort of like an ape Moses of sorts, a kind of mythic ascension. We’re trying to play out those themes and try to explore it in this universe of exploring human nature under the guise of apes."
War of the Planet of the Apes starts shooting in Vancouver this October for release on July 14, 2017.