The third movie in the Planet of the Apes reboot continues to build a stellar cast with the announcement that Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn, Modern Family) has been tapped to play an ape in War for the Planet of the Apes. He joins Woody Harrelson as the most recent addition to the cast. What role might he be playing?
We know he is playing an ape, and my best guess would be an Orangutan, one of the smarter of the apes. You might remember in the original series of movies and television shows that the Orangutans were the Scientific. Teachers, and Government officials when they were on-screen. You might remember this iconic Planet of the Apes scene at Taylor’s trial.
One guess would be that Zahn might play the young Lawgiver character.
Lawgiver’s writings and quotes formed the basis of the apes’ system of laws and customs, particularly with regard to humans, whom the Lawgiver had declared “the devil’s pawn”, to be shunned and driven out, if not destroyed outright. Statues of the Lawgiver were common around Ape City; when the gorilla army saw a vision of such a statue bleeding, they panicked, showing their regard for this icon.
While quoted in all the movies, the character was played on-screen by Actor/Director John Huston in 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes, who interestingly never directed an Apes movie, but played one of its most iconic characters.
Could this be the character for Zahn? If it is, then this might put him at odds with Caesar (Andy Serkis) who wants to work with the humans, at least those humans who are peaceful. I somehow doubt that Woody Harrelson’s character Colonel will be the type of human that Caesar thinks his people can live peaceably beside.
War For The Planet Of The Apes hits theater screens on July 14th, 2017.