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As we inch closer to the third film in the Planet of the Apes‘ rebooted franchise, more details are releasing. Months after the reveal of the stellar teaser trailer, USA Today and Fox have unleashed the following images.
Two years after the events in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the Caesar-led simians are still fighting the good fight. Hold up in the Muir Woods near San Francisco, the Apes are hard at work fending off a human army. This army is led by the film’s villain, the Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. Thanks to the ruthless Colonel and his army, Caesar and Co. have suffered heavy casualties. But they haven’t gone down without a fight. According to producer Dylan Clark, Caesar sets out on “this quest of revenge to right things — the victor gets the planet.” We see bits of this journey he’ll undertake in the image above, featuring him, Rocket and Luca.
Even as he’s tasked with battling his greatest threat, Caesar is still reeling over the loss of Koba. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the remarkably intelligent simian has to kill the vengeful Koba. The third film will see him continue to carry that guilt. “He doesn’t know anymore where his loyalties lie,” Andy Serkis says. “He’s in a very deeply conflicted period of his life.”
Unfortunately, said inner conflict will have little time for pause, as the relentless Colonel makes life for the Apes increasingly difficult. The Colonel wants to return to “a world where things can be gentle again,” notes director Matt Reeves, “but the journey he takes you on is chilling.”
That in mind, Serkis teases that the Colonel and Caesar are able to foster a mutual respect for one another. “There’s also bizarrely a kind of respect and understanding from both sides. It’s understanding the condition of the other person, what they’re having to suffer through and what they’re trying to protect.”
The film’s first official trailer has been revealed, as well. Check it out below:
The last two films in the franchise have squarely but Serkis’ portrayal of Caesar at the heart story. It seems the ante will be upped even more this time around. Apparently, there were areas of emotion Serkis had to travel to in War “that connotes insanity.” The struggle was a physical one too, as Serkis and his co-stars had to shoot in their mo-cap suits in snowy climates. “We had wetsuits on underneath, but the night shoots were brutal. You would literally have to run up and down a hill to keep your body functioning.” However, Serkis doesn’t harbor any regrets. In fact, his love for the franchise is why he’s willing to go to such lengths: “[The Apes films are] about something important: the metaphor, the allegory, the story, the characters. It is a very rare and extraordinary situation you don’t get that often.”
The film’s official synopsis is as follows:
Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.
War for the Planet of the Apes opens in theaters July 14, 2017.
Images: 20th Century Fox