The July 14 premiere of War for the Planet of the Apes is going to take the science-fiction blockbuster franchise onto bigger things. Having laid the foundations courtesy of 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the stakes are all the more higher for those involved.
Director Matt Reeves is back in the hot seat as he sat down during New York Comic-Con alongside his leading CGI man Andy Serkis who reprises the central protagonist Caesar. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the pair opened up about the confrontation between ape and man. Going on to argue that the 20th Century Fox installment doesn't have the stereotypical good guy vs. bad guy scenario we would usually expect for an action film of this scale.
Caesar Begins To Crack After Battle Heartbreak
Prior to taking the reigns for The Batman with Ben Affleck and DC, Reeves went through the events of Caesar's life to state that his erosion in humanity has led to this juncture.
"Obviously the movie is a grand scale war film and the apes are pitted against the humans, but primarily it is almost about the war within Caesar," starts Reeves. "Because in the last film, Koba basically started the war. He couldn't bare the idea of living side by side with his captors. He had seen too much horrors through their hand. In this film, Andy's (Serkis) character is completely haunted having had to kill Koba and maybe the idea that the war could have been averted. As events escalate, he ends up being so wounded by the losses among the apes that he starts to feel the kind of hatred that Koba feels."
Introducing Woody Harrelson's Colonel into the mix, the duo's hatred for each other becomes an all-consuming fight that sidelines the rest of the flick.
“It finally cracks Caesar,” the director says. “It sets him on a revenge mission. The movie goes from being this grand war movie to an almost Josey Wales-like Western.”
No Winners In This Struggle For Survival
With little known about Harrelson's character and his motivations, Serkis believes that the footage gleaned from the trailer can be a bit misleading.
"The Colonel comes across as someone who's psychotic," he remarks. "But he is fighting for the survival of humanity, as Caesar is fighting for the apes. Expect a loser, but no real winners."
Back again to play the same character he did 6 years ago, does the part of Caesar come naturally to the performer?
"It's very rare that an actor can get to play the whole life of a character. It's Boyhood but for Apes. It's my Apehood!"