Sure, we can knock Hollywood’s simplistic predilection for fail-safe franchise films like, well, just about every blockbuster movie in theaters right now. But before we go thinking that this is a sign of decadence in the great American dream factory, let us remember that even the distant 1960s movie houses were dominated by franchises like James Bond and Planet of the Apes. Oh wait, theaters are still dominated by James Bond and Planet of the Apes? Well there you have it, literally nothing has changed in Hollywood over the last 50 years.
Except for the fact that one of the co-starring roles in the upcoming War of the Planet of the Apes (that’s the third installment since the 2011 reboot and the ninth overall, in case you’re counting) will be played by Latino newcomer Gabriel Chavarria. No, he will not be playing an ape, but rather one of two human leads. I guess there has been some progress after all.
Hulu-heads might recognize Chavarria as heartthrob Jacob Aguilar in the critically-acclaimed teen drama East Los High, but other than an upcoming part in the Eva Longoria and Demián Bichir vehicle Low Rider, the young man has very few prominent credits to his name. But if this latest addition to the Apes family performs even half as well as 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – which pulled in nearly $709 million at the box office – we can be fairly confident that Chavarria will be on Hollywood’s A-List before too long.
War of the Planet of the Apes will be directed by Matt Reeves, who hit a home run at the helm of the franchise’s previous installment. Shooting is slated to begin in October, by which time we hope to have more plot details.