Not much is yet known about Matt Reeves’ (Let Me In) follow-up to Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. We know that it’s going to be called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, that Andy Serkis is going to be back to do his part in bringing the ape leader Caesar to life, and that it’s supposed to take place somewhere around fifteen years after Caesar’s battle with the authorities on the Golden Gate Bridge. Thanks to a report from THR though, we now know the first name that’s going to be joining Serkis in the film’s cast.
According to the trade, rising in popularity actor Jason Clarke has signed on to star in the film. Though Clarke has been getting regular work for coming up on two decades now, it’s been just recently that his film career has really started to get traction. Last year he was not only able to steal some scenes from the wildly charismatic Tom Hardy in John Hillcoat’s Lawless, but he also managed to turn a lot of heads and create a lot of buzz as the CIA agent who interrogates and water boards a prisoner in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.
Given both the critical and financial success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has to be seen as an important, tentpole feature on Fox’s upcoming calendar, so Reeves’ signing of Clarke in what will be his first chance at a high-profile starring role has to mean that somebody wearing a fancy suit somewhere believes the time is right to try to make this guy a legitimate star.
What do you think? Does Clarke have what it takes to make it to the next level? And is he the guy who’s going to be able to help Dawn of the Planet of the Apes live up to the lofty standards that its predecessor set? Clarke will be showing up next playing the role of George Wilson in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Maybe we’ll get an even better idea of what he brings to the table there.