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'Zero Dark' Actor Jason Clarke to Star in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (Exclusive)

Jason Clarke in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in Soviet-Era Thriller 'Child 44' (Exclusive)Jason Clarke in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in Soviet-Era Thriller 'Child 44' (Exclusive)

Jason Clarke, a breakout actor thanks to his performance as a CIA agent in Zero Dark Thirty, has signed on to star in 20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

The film will be directed by Matt Reeves. Much of the plot is being kept under lock and key but it is set 15 years after the events of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which starred James Franco. One focus is on the group of human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco. Another aspect of the story is the struggle of intelligent ape Caesar, played by a returning Andy Serkis, to maintain dominance over his kingdom.

It is unclear who Clarke will play.

Peter Chernin, Dylan Clarke, Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa are producing the movie, which is currently working off a script by Mark Bomback.

Apes is targeting a spring shoot.

Clarke has appeared in movies such as Public Enemies and Lawless and was one of the stars of the short-lived TV series The Chicago Code. He even nabbed the part of George Wilson in the upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby, directed by fellow Australian Baz Lurhmann.

But it’s his turn as the hard-edged and gritty torturer in Zero Dark Thirty that opened Hollywood’s eyes to his leading man potential. Apes now represents his first starring gig in an American production and film franchise. 

The 2011 Apes movie was seen as an intelligent and upscale reboot of the movie property. An association with the sequel stands to maintain Clarke's acting cred while allowing him to raise his profile via a tentpole franchise.

Clarke is repped by CAA.

Email: Borys.Kit@thr.com

Twitter: @Borys_Kit