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'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gets a Lead

Jason Clarke might be on the cusp of going from being a “that guy” to a bona-fide movie star. After years of minor roles (or leads in minor TV shows), the Australian actor has finally received some significant attention for Zero Dark Thirty. In that film, he plays a CIA interrogator who’s quite genial when he’s not inflicting horrific torture on prisoners (actually, he’s often kind of genial even when he’s doing that). He’s won a lot of deserved praise for the part, which, like everything else in the film, is nuanced and thoughtful.

Now, Clarke has signed on to star in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the upcoming sequel to 2011’s surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The movie picks up 15 years after the first one left off, and features intelligent ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) trying to lead his group of other sapient simians, while a conclave of humans struggle to survive in a world ravaged by a deadly virus. It is unknown at this point whether Clarke will be playing a human or donning a mo-cap suit as one of the apes. But he’ll probably be a human. The movie, directed by Cloverfield and Let Me In helmer Matt Reeves, is aiming for a 2014 release date.

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