After having supporting roles in such 2015 big-budget projects as Jurassic World and Ant-Man (not to mention her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Tomorrowland), Judy Greer is having her moment in the spotlight. However, it looks like Greer is not done with Hollywood blockbusters yet, as she is going to be returning as an ape for the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes.
Production has begun for War for the Planet of the Apes – something director Matt Reeves confirmed through his Twitter account, by unveiling the first photo from the set. The new movie will continue the conflict between humans and apes some time after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – with ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) set to face new obstacles, including a human antagonist played by Woody Harrelson.
According to THR, Greer will be reprising her Dawn role as Corneila, the chimpanzee wife of ape leader, Caesar, in the next Planet of the Apes installment – a film that Reeves has confirmed is titled War for the Planet of the Apes, not War of the Planet of the Apes (as was previously reported). The article also mentions that Karin Konoval will also be returning to play Maurice: the prominent orangutan ally to Caesar, since their days together in an ape sanctuary (or prison, if you prefer) from back in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Greer’s Cornelia uses American Sign Language as her primary form of communication in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so the character was limited in acting ability – though, she didn’t exactly get a good deal of screen time, either. Indeed, often times Greer’s Dawn character was kept separate from the action and served primarily as the peacekeeper and calming influence on Caesar. Now that Caesar will be leading an all out war, the need for a peaceful and calming influence may provide a larger role for Cornelia.
Furthermore, letting Corenlia speak for herself might be the right move for Greer’s character. As apes have evolved from each film, having Cornelia learn how to speak rather than use sign language would be added benefit for War for the Planet of the Apes – and better show off Greer’s talents, too. By not giving Cornelia the gift of speech, it might feel like Greer is being wasted in the role (again). The movie is only starting production, so it’s too early to tell how Greer’s role will change from Rise to War… but we’ll hope for the best, as always.
War for the Planet of the Apes opens in U.S. theaters on July 14th, 2017.