With “War For the Planet of the Apes,” the sci-fi franchise is coming full circle, to 1968.
Entertainment Weekly reveals that, in the third film in Fox’s rebooted series, ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his companions meet a young mute girl named Nova, a character introduced in 1968’s “Planet of the Apes” as an adult, played by Linda Harrison.
In “War For the Planet of the Apes,” she’s portrayed by 12-year-old actress Amiah Miller, seen in the film’s trailer riding on horseback with an orangutan. Nova is shown again in newly released concept art with the gorilla Luca.
“The battle is not just between the humans and the apes, but in Caesar’s soul,” director Matt Reeves told EW. “The girl is his pull back to his empathy and — for lack of a better word — his human side.”
In the original film, Nova is the name given by Charlton Heston’s astronaut Taylor to one of the humans he encounters stealing his supplies and raiding a cornfield before their capture by the apes. Taylor and Nova later escape captivity with the help of Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) and Zira (Kim Hunter). Harrison reprised the role for the 1970 sequel “Beneath the Planet of the Apes.”
EW characterizes Nova’s inclusion in “War For the Planet of the Apes” as the “most overt” connection between the rebooted franchise and the original films.
Opening July 14, 2017, the new film picks up two years after the events of 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” with the apes retreating to Muir Woods National Monument north of San Francisco in the aftermath of the killing of Koba by Caesar. In that time, they suffered tremendously at the hands of the Colonel, the ruthless lead of an army of humans, whom Reeves has said will to go to great lengths “to create a world where things can be gentle again.”
“War for the Planet of the Apes” stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller and Terry Notary.
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