Trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes, starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson.

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. 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 their species and the future of the planet.

There is something final about "War" but, according to Andy Serkis, this might not be the final installment for this (successful) franchise reboot. If history of the franchise tells us anything, this installment shows humans losing, and the next installment shows humans getting obliterated? I'm into it.

As can be seen from the latest trailer, there is not a whole lot of big actors gracing the screen. And, speaking of cast, there are only three actors who have returned for every installment of this Apes reboot. As you might have guessed, all three do motion capture and voices for their CG counterparts. First up is Andy Serkis, who does motion capture and the voice for Caesar. Caesar has been the most important character in each film. Next up is Terry Notary, who does motion capture and voice work for Rocket, a chimp that is usually seen close to Caesar. And finally we have Karin Konoval, who plays the lovable Maurice. If you were to take a guess, Maurice is the big orangutan that seems to have the most compassion and sympathy for all creatures, including humans.

Completing what could be a trilogy for the reboot, War is actually the ninth feature for the overall franchise. The nine films span the course of almost five decades.

War for the Planet of the Apes Trailer

Wowza! So this is how you successfully reboot a franchise! When the first installment arrived with James Franco at the lead, I couldn't help but assume that this would be another Burton-ish attempt to get the franchise back on its feet. We are now onto the third film and Caesar has never looked better.

I can't find a single thing not to like. The effects once again look improved upon -- monkeys, apes, chimps riding horses! -- and the battle sequences look absolutely gratifying. The only thing that is strange about the War for the Planet of the Apes trailer is that it still feels like a teaser trailer. As in, the only human we get a good view of is Woody Harrelson. He looks great, sure, but what about other supporting cast like Judy Greer or Steve Zahn? Anybody else? Not exactly, as this installment looks to be entirely focused on hanging out with the primates, with the villains, humans, getting a lower priority.

Since this is most likely the case, at least judging by the trailer, that means that almost 100% of the footage to be seen in War for the Planet of the Apes are effects shots. Most impressive! And I can't even fathom what complications that created for filming.

But they seemed to have pulled it off. With still over half a year to go before the film's release, this Apes installment looks stunning. But our appetite has yet to be satisfied, and we can only assume that, with a few big films coming out in March, that we can expect another trailer right around then. Unlike this teaser-ish trailer, we should get a better sense of some subplots that were left out this time around.

War for the Planet of the Apes Trailer Screencap

2 min 7 sec


Posted On
December 09, 2016
Matt Reeves

Mark Bomback

20th Century Fox

July 14, 2017
Andy Serkis
Woody Harrelson
Steve Zahn
Judy Greer
Karin Konoval
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