While we were troubled by Rupert Wyatt‘s exit and the apparent reasons behind it — a rushed schedule in order to make a pre-ordained release date — 20th Century Fox seem to have been going out of their way to make us feel good about “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the follow-up to the surprisingly excellent 2011 blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” First they had a script draft by “Side Effects” scribe Scott Z. Burns, then replaced Wyatt with “Let Me In,” director Matt Reeves. Then Reeves cast his film up, and alongside the returning Andy Serkis, landed Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
And now there’s one extra performer on board, and she won’t be playing a human. Vulture report that actress Judy Greer, known for several best-friend roles in romantic comedies, and for turns in “Arrested Development” (“Say goodbye to these!”) and “The Descendants,” has been cast in the film. And she’ll actually be donning a performance-capture suit to play Cornelia, a chimp briefly glimpsed in ‘Rise,’ and envisioned as a love interest to Serkis’ Caesar. Dancer Devyn Dalton played the part in the original (most of the scenes were cut in the end), but Greer signing on suggests it’ll be an expanded role this time out.
The actress doesn’t have much performance capture experience, but she must have impressed Reeves and her “13 Going On 30” co-star Serkis to land a part like this. And lord knows we’ve discovered over the last decade or so that Greer’s more than talented enough to pull this one off. Anyway, it’s another good bit of news for what we hope will be a rare quality blockbuster sequel. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” hits theaters on May 23rd, 2014.