William H. Macy has joined the cast of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the fourth film in the rebooted franchise, though his character, ape or man, is unknown.
Those dirty apes are coming back for a fourth outing, set many years after the last film, War for the Planet of the Apes, with a dystopian simian-ruled future in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Deadline reports that Shameless and Mystery Men star William H. Macy has joined the movie’s cast. While his role is currently unknown, he could be playing one of the few surviving humans or one of the ruling apes. Either way, the award-winning actor is always a joy to see on screen, whether he’s a drunken dad, a dystopian survivor, or a massive gorilla.
What is known so far about Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is very little, except that the time period has advanced far enough for Caeser (Andy Serkis) to be replaced by his son, Cornelius (Owen Teague). Long-time fans of the franchise, which started as a novel in 1963, will note that Cornelius was a character in the original Charlton Heston 1968 film played by Roddy McDowall. That character ended up having a son named Caeser, which means it’s either a nifty reference or a Redwall-esque Martin-Matthias-Mattimeo situation with fathers using the same names for their sons over and over.
William H. Macy is joining a cast of Owen Teague, Freya Allan, Peter Macon, Eka Darville, Kevin Durand, Sara Wiseman, and Travis Jeffrey. Wes Ball, director of the Maze Runner movies, is directing while 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are still on board for the fourth installment of their series. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will look to continue the box office success (over $1 billion combined) of the revitalized franchise.
The original 1968 Planet of the Apes was a campy classic, quickly followed by a series of cash-in sequels that burned through all of the goodwill from the first movie. After years of production hell, a Tim Burton-directed, Mark Wahlberg starring remake came out in 2001 as a resounding critical flop at the theater, though the film made over $180 million at the box office. The 2011 reboot, starring James Franco, caught audiences by surprise, showing the very start of the super-intelligent apes leading a revolution in modern day San Francisco, touching off events that would lead into Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes shows the collapse of human society leading into all out war between the few remaining humans after a virus wipes out most of the population and the growing population of super-intelligent apes. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is likely to continue the trend of featuring less and less humans in the world, eventually leading to the long-awaited Planet of the Apes. Disney has publicly stated they hope the upcoming film will kick off another trilogy, all set in the same world and exploring different facets of the same story.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has already started production but the film is scheduled to be released on May 24th, 2024, so it will be awhile before we get to see William H. Macy as an ape, or a human, but whatever he’s playing, it’s going to be good.