Keri Russell Joins ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ as the Human Female Lead

Published 2 years ago by

keri russell dawn planet apes Keri Russell Joins Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as the Human Female Lead

20th Century Fox and director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) have rapidly assembled a motley crew of human actors to battle our new primate overlords in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the critically and financially successful Apes franchise reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes (itself, a quasi-prequel to the Planet of the Apes movie released in 1968).

Dawn… continues the more science-fiction heavy approach of Rise…, which forgoes the overtly satirical tone of both the original Planet of the Apes movie featuring Charlton Heston and Pierre Boulle’s source novel (as well as the 2001 re-imagining from director Tim Burton). We’ve learned that it picks 15 years after the events of Rise, when humanity has been ravaged by a lab-produced virus.

Variety is saying that Keri Russell has joined the Dawn… cast as its human female lead, who is presumably one of the few surviving San Francisco residents banding together after the collapse of human society. This marks a reunion for Russell and Reeves, as the latter co-created her breakout TV series Felicity with J.J. Abrams. Moreover, this continues Rusell’s climb to (re)gaining a higher status as an actress, in combination with her roles in the sci-fi/horror flick Dark Skies and the new FX television drama The Americans.

On the non-human side: the main attraction is once more Andy Serkis reprising his motion-capture performance as the ape revolution leader Caesar. While our simian protagonist is no longer dealing with an identity crisis (meaning his adapted father James Franco won’t play a significant role, if any), he must now deal with the crown sitting uneasily atop his head as the leader of ape civilization.

dawn planet apes director Keri Russell Joins Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as the Human Female Lead

Caesar returns in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

The remainder of the human cast in Dawn… includes actor Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Oscar-nominee Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight trilogy) and Kodi-Smit McPhee, who worked with Reeves before on his vampire drama/remake Let Me In. Similar to Russell, their specific roles are currently being kept secret; though, their respective ages offer clues about their characters, such as how McPhee might well be playing a teenager who doesn’t even remember when humans ruled the world.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver wrote the first script draft for Dawn…, which was later revised by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, The Wolverine) when Reeves boarded as director. With a promising story devised by those writers and the strong cast selected by Reeves, this sequel has the potential to be another solid addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in theaters on May 23rd, 2014.

Source: Variety

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  1. This movie has gotten much exciting news recently. As of now, it’s my most anticipated film of 2014.
    Hopefully the movie will be fascinating after Wyatt’s departure. He got a lot of praise for the first, makes me wonder if they can handle the film without him [Wyatt].

    • I was bummed when Wyatt left the sequel but I can’t deny that the films is gathering very talented individuals and looks great so far. I can’t wait!

      • Same here i was upset when Wyatt left but it’s really picking up some great actors i’m even more excited for it now

  2. Man are they putting together a good cast. first Gary Oldman, and now Keri Russell.

  3. Now that’s some unexpected casting! Interesting.

  4. I hope this movie is great!

  5. I’m still hoping that Franco at least makes a cameo to explain what happened to his character.

    • I’m hoping he doesn’t for the same reason.

      All you need is a quick throwaway line about his fate with some of the apes turning on Caesar due to his longing and affection for his human “father”. Just enough to know what happened to him but not enough to show that anyone other than Caesar actually cares what happened.

      After all, the humans would be seen as aggressors who caged them and beat them sothose still alive from the incident in the previous movie would be hateful towards humanity and their next of kin would’ve been brought up with that same hatred.

      Humans wouldn’t have known about him either so they wouldn’t make a reference to Franco’s character. For them, it’s all about survival and taking down the apes.

      • @ Dazz

        Actually the humans may know about Franco’s character. He was the scientist who created the ALZ112 which caused the apes uproar and the humans demise. My guess is that the company that produced the drug will blame it on Franco’s character (who died) and that will be the cameo.

  6. This and Tomorrowland are my most anticipated for next year.

  7. I love Kerri Russell.

  8. K. Russ is KILLING IT right now.

    The Americans
    Dark Skies

    She was great in both.

    • I cannot wait to see this EVEN MORE now. I loved the first one and enjoyed Russell in both “Felicity” and “Waitress” (haven’t seen her two most recent roles, though I’ve heard she’s good in both). This news simply heightens my anticipation for the upcoming film…

  9. I love this cast!

  10. Can’t wait to see Keri Russell in action, she is one of my favorite actress. I have also heard that the movie is getting great response. I can hope that the final product will be a treat to watch.

  11. Keri Russell…yay. Why? Why not Courtney Cox or Julia Louis Dreyfuss or any other late 90’s-early 00’s television actress who’s proven they don’t crossover to motion pictures well.
    Hell, where’s Candice Bergen when you need her?


  13. I hope I’m proven wrong, but I think this film will be a huge dissapointment.

    Script re-writes from a writer with no notable credits…A rewrite over the work of the writers who penned the successful last film at that!

    A Director with limited success with mediocre movies. I don’t care who the cast is, its all about story and direction.

    I won’t expect anything special, so I can’t be dissapointed, but nicely surprised if it lives up to the last film.

  14. I think a lot of us will dissapointed, I ‘m not convinced this will be a good flick