I was one of the folks who was dead set against the idea of a Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy. If you’ve followed me for any period of time, or listened to an episode of Los Fanboys Podcast, you’ll know that I’m a fan of mystery, and I don’t mean that in a traditional sense. By “mystery” I mean allowing things that are mentioned in passing to remain as such. There’s not necessarily a need to go back and show every single thing that was mentioned. Earth was taken over by Apes. Great. I’d much rather imagine how that went than see it on the big screen.
Luckily for everyone, I wasn’t calling the shots over at 20th Century Fox, because the result so far in the two prequel films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, have been beyond amazing. Not only have we seen slow, meditative steps towards an eventual planet of apes, but we’ve done so in a believable way, with Caesar becoming an interesting and complicated reluctant hero among his peers.
So what about the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes? Will this be the one where we finally see how the apes take over planet Earth? Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t sound like it.
When asked by our very own Fernando Esquivel whether or not there would be moments in the film where the audience questions the apes’ actions, performance capture guru Andy Serkis gave a surprising answer.
“We do know that further down the line it's a planet that is dominated by apes but that doesn't happen in this movie and there is still room for that to develop. There is a very balanced world view, it isn't judgement either way. These two species are fighting for survival and it isn't necessarily picking a side, it does see the world more emotionally from the apes point of view it still doesn't become black and white, the humans are not out right villains. The stakes are higher and it's more brutal it's a much harder, darker, tougher, very, very brutal film. Well it's still a family film but as brutal as you can get but not in a graphic way but in it's context, there is a real sense of foreboding in this film.”
While Serkis did go on to legitimately answer the question — adding to the moral gray aspect of these films — he did confirm that the end of this war would not necessarily mean the apes’ conquest of the planet. At this point, it’s too early to say whether or not this means there could be another Planet of the Apes in our future. My gut is to reject yet another film, as a trilogy has always been a nice, clean way to round things out, but in the age of franchises, it wouldn’t be all too strange.
And hey, I already have a solid working title for them: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (You're welcome, Fox).
So long as they maintain the high bar of quality they have set, I think I’ll be ready to see more of this. At the end of the day, I didn’t love these films for the plot as much as I did for the character development. Let’s just hope that War for the Planet of the Apes still gives us a satisfying conclusion.
What do you think of Serkis’ comments? Does it make you sad this trilogy may very well not be the end? Let us know your thoughts down below!