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Woody Harrelson joins the War for the Planet of the Apes

The next installment of Planet of the Apes sequel has signed a new villain. Edit: A new human villain.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Woody Harrelson will be cursing those damn, dirty apes in War for the Planet of the Apes, the third in this series of prequels. While we don’t have many plot details yet, it does seem like the title is pretty darn self-explanatory.

Other than the fact that he plays a major villain called the Colonel, we don’t know much about Harrelson’s role either. What we do know is that the film will continue the story of Caesar and that Matt Reeves, who helmed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), will return as director. Gabriel Chavarria will also have a small part, playing a new but unidentified character.

Given his military title, it also sounds like Harrelson will be commanding human forces against Caesar’s misunderstood band of simians, though we can’t say that for sure.

Turns as Haymitch in The Hunger Games franchise and Detective Marty Hart in Season One of HBO’s True Detective have ushered in a renaissance for the veteran actor and he’ll add this role to his casting as President Lyndon B. Johnson in LBJ, and to a schedule that is fast filling up with big-time projects. Thanks, Katniss Everdeen.

Though the last installment of the Apes franchise was generally well-received, some critics knocked the film for casting humans that were less compelling than their CGI counterparts. Casting the always-entertaining Harrelson should take care of that problem quickly and it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if he stole a few scenes in this one.

War of the Planet of the Apes is currently in pre-production, but will target a release date of July 14, 2017, smack dab in the middle of summer movie season. Stay tuned for updates.

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