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New Planet Of The Apes Movie Casts Andy Serkis's Replacement

Giant Freakin Robot 8/23/2022 Vic Medina
© Provided by Giant Freakin Robot

Disney’s 20th Century Studios is returning to The Planet of the Apes franchise, and we now know who will be replacing Andy Serkis in the new film. According to an exclusive report by Deadline, actor Owen Teague has been cast as the “lead primate” in the upcoming film. Teague reportedly impressed studio execs with his audition, who are ready to make him the centerpiece of a new film directed by Wes Ball. Teague took to Twitter early Tuesday morning to react to the news. “I'm thrilled beyond imagination. Can't wait to start,” he wrote in a tweet. Production is expected to begin this year.

Teague, who made his acting debut in 2012’s Malibu Country TV series, is perhaps best known for playing the bully Patrick Hockstetter in 2017’s It and 2019’s It Chapter Two. He also appeared in Netflix’s Dark Mirror and the recent miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. He earned rave reviews for his performance in last year’s indie film Montana Story, opposite Haley Lu Richardson. Not only will the new Planet of the Apes be his biggest role to date, but he will also have to follow in the footsteps of Andy Serkis’ iconic performance in the previous films, who many said was worthy of an Oscar nomination.

Although Deadline reported that the plot details for the new film are under “lock and key,” Giant Freakin Robot’s own Nathan Kamal broke exclusive details on the new film earlier this summer. He reports that the new film will not be a reboot, but will in fact continue the trilogy that supposedly ended with 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, directed and co-written by Matt Reeves (The Batman), who is not involved in this film. The story, set many years after the death of Serkis’ character of Caesar, will center around a young chimp named Noa, who embarks on a hero’s journey that will echo Caesar’s story arc.

The new film will find Noa pitted against a warlord-like ape named Proximus Caesar, who uses Caesar’s name and teachings to satisfy his own lust for power and unite the ape clans that have formed since the end of the war. Caesar and his “marauding apes” kill Noa’s father and enslave the members of his clan while he is away on a journey of self-discovery. With a human companion named Mae, Noa must face his potential destiny as the battle to lead the apes begins again. Kamal notes that Noa’s name may be a reference to the Biblical character of Noah, an unlikely savior of his people. Reeves’ Planet of the Apes films made Caesar an allegory of Moses, who led his people out of bondage to a “promised land” of freedom, one he never got to live in himself.

Starting production on a new Planet of the Apes film, which does not yet have an official title, has been a priority for 20th Century for some time. Ball, who directed the Maze Runner trilogy of films, was first tapped to craft the new film back in 2019. The new film will once again use motion-capture technology to create the apes, but it is not clear if Weta Digital will be involved in the new film. The special effects company, founded by The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, created the groundbreaking effects for the last trilogy, which replaced the practical makeup effects seen in the original films of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as Tim Burton’s failed 2001 reboot.

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