He’s never gone away — he’s been working consistently in the movies since the early 1990s, often as a headliner — but the recent resurgence of Woody Harrelson has been something of a joy to see. Showing enormous longevity for an actor who first turned heads as the dim-witted Woody on “Cheers,” Harrelson’s starred in a diverse range of classics, from “White Men Can’t Jump” through “Wag The Dog” and “No Country For Old Men,” but he’s had a hell of a run in the last five or six years.
Beginning with the surprise success of “Zombieland” in the same year that he picked up his second Oscar nod for “The Messenger,” Harrelson’s been on fire, with highlights including a scorching performance in “Rampart,” being the moral center of the giant “Hunger Games” franchise, and of course, his acclaimed turn in the first season of “True Detective.” And now, Harrelson’s heading to blockbuster territory, as The Hollywood Reporter reveal that the actor has signed on to play the bad guy in the next “Planet Of The Apes” movie.
The sci-fi franchise, revitalized by performance-capture technology and the stunning performance of Andy Serkis as lead Caesar, has gone from strength to strength, and “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” director Matt Reeves is returning for a third movie, which is still untitled, and has exact plot details under wraps (though the ending of the last film suggests a full-on war between apes and humans is coming). Harrelson will seemingly play Caesar’s main adversary, known as the Colonel, though there’s little news beyond that.
Also unclear is whether the surviving human cast of the last film, in Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee, are coming back. Either way, Harrelson’s a great addition to the series, and we’re excited to see him and Caesar butt heads when the movie hits theaters on July 14th, 2017.