The new iteration of Planet of the Apes has been a big hit with fans of the original 60s franchise, and it's those same fans who will be excited to learn that a key character from the Charles Heston classic is set to return in the latest sequel. War for the Planet of the Apes is the third chapter in the reboot saga, and it's clear that this series is diving deep back into its original roots. Which should please those hoping the old and new worlds can meet, with a planet Earth that is completely populated by sentient Apes.
Entertainment Weekly has the first look at this returning character, though you may not recognize her right away. This painting shows a blonde girl standing to face a massive gorilla on horseback. The beast reaches out to the young beauty with a purple and yellow flower. It is a rare moment of calm in this skirmish between apes and humans, and with its frosty winter landscape, it is certainly some kind of wonderful.
War will be in theaters this July. It picks up two years after the events seen in 2014's sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, returns as the head Ape in charge. He faces an uncertain future as he leads his simian tribe into a battle that could cost everyone their lives. Years into this conflict, Caesar is continuing to evolve, and is becoming more like his human counterparts. His sympathy for the human race is putting his tribe's life at stake. In a last ditch effort to take a stand for what he believes in, he goes on a secret mission to find and destroy the leader of the human forces, a man known simply as Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson.
During their journey to overtake and defeat Colonel, Caesar and his ape companions discover a young mute female named Nova, who will be played in this movie by Amiah Miller. She is the character seen in this new concept art, as she has a moment with the gorilla named Luca. director Matt Reeves explains.
"The battle is not just between the humans and the apes, but in Caesar's soul. The girl is his pull back to his empathy and - for lack of a better word - his human side."
Interesting fact about Nova, she was played by Linda Harrison in the 1968 original movie. She also appeared in the sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It has been confirmed that this is the exact same character, as the old and new iterations of the franchise finally connect. Before this, there have been some minor ties between the original and reboot series, mostly as Easter eggs for die hard fans.
Another substantial tie-in came with the 2011 installment Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring James Franco. In that film, news casts refer to the lost spaceship called Icarus. That's the same ship that was carrying Charlton Heston's Taylor in the 1968 original.