When War for the Planet of the Apes debuts in theaters in 2017, it will do so with a largely new cast, similar to the process between its predecessors. However, from Dawn to Rise, the turnover in cast came from the human side of the story. In War, we will meet a few new apes, in addition to new humans.
One of the new apes coming in the threequel is Bad Ape played by Steve Zahn. Zahn, best known for roles in films like National Security, Dallas Buyers Club, and Joy Ride, has certainly never dealt with motion capture in the way which the Apes franchise demanded of him. Furthermore, he has never had to embody the role of an ape.
"I knew it would be pretty involved but I missed the camp that they have," Zahn said. "I got nervous the first day when we said down because I thought we would just immediately start quadrupedding."
"We sat down and really talked about the essence of an ape. It was a lot deeper," Zahn went on. He eventually grew so comfortable with the role of an ape that it become a habit -- and a joke. "It grew to me and Terry going around basecamp as apes!"
As for his character, we can expect some serious growth there, too. Zahn's Bad Ape was introduced to audience's at the 20th Century Fox showcase event over the weekend when the studio unveiled his first scenes to a select audience. Bad Ape is dealing with some serious internal scarring after being subjected to years of captivity in a zoo and being called, "Bad Ape!"
"He's an outsider and he's kind of like a hill rat," Zahn said. "He's been living on his own so he's really excited to be part of a group."
"He's integral to the story in that he has knowledge of where they're going. They're on a journey and he's the scout. His information is his... He doesn't have any super powers. He knows what paths to go through."
Bad Ape does, however, offer a sense of levity and humor to the Apes franchise which is something that was largely absent from the first two films. "It's not like all the sudden there's comedy," Zahn said. "Just to see a different spped and a guy who's like this and excited just comes off a little bit more humorous."
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War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters July 14, 2017.