There has been a lot to keep track of recently regarding Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Matt Reeves’ sequel to the surprise hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes – as the film’s cast is rapidly beginning to take shape.

Although we’re still not sure if James Franco will be returning for the sequel, we do know that Andy Serkis is coming back to work his motion-capture magic as ape leader Caesar, and we’ve learned that Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) have joined the cast in the past couple of weeks, as well. Now we can add another actor to that mix.

According to Coming Soon, Gary Oldman has signed on to the film to play the leader of the human resistance.

Oldman’s character will serve as Caesar’s main rival as he leads a small band of San Francisco-based scientists and survivors against the now powerful apes 15 years after their initial uprising, a development which served as the third act of the previous installment.

It’s another large role for Oldman in what should be a very big film in terms scope and budget. Of course, many moviegoers will remember him as Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films, but Oldman has proven he can do much more over his lengthy career. He’s played villains (Air Force OneThe Book of Eli), real life figures (Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK), and even fantastical ones (Sirius Black in Harry Potter films), while donning a variety of different looks. So whatever the challenge may be, we know Oldman is up for it.

Some of the initial speculation surrounding Dawn was that the story would take place directly after the events of the first film. Some thought it might even be a continuation of the uprising, and though we still might get snippets of the chaos and the outbreak of the virus, it appears that the thrust of the plot will pick up well after the apes have seized control (but not so much that the humans are powerless).

Oldman’s casting adds promise to a film that already has a considerable amount of excitement and anticipation building behind it. The current climate of optimism surrounding Dawn is certainly a far cry from the bewildered state fans were in a few years ago when news of the original reboot surfaced – that is, before Rise captivated audiences everywhere.

Look for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes when it swings into theaters on May 23rd, 2014.

Source: Coming Soon