Who would’ve thought that Planet of the Apes would’ve returned in a new big screen franchise in the way it has. When Rise of the Planet of the Apes was first announced several years back, there weren’t a whole lot of folks that were thrilled with the idea. This was a franchise that had existed decades earlier — a franchise that got worse with every entry. What’s more was that many moviegoers still had the bad taste in their mouth from the 2001 Tim Burton Planet of the Apes remake, which starred Mark Wahlberg in the lead role.
All in all, it seemed like yet another pathetic attempt from Hollywood to cash in on any form of familiarity that audiences may have with a brand name, regardless of the actual quality. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, exceeded all expectations, and rather than a typical piece of derivative Hollywood drivel, we were treated to a fairly heartfelt story about a man and his ape friend, Caesar. Rather than making the extra effort to paint either the humans or the apes in a negative light, the film was filled with many different shades of gray, showing that it’s not so much good vs. evil as it is a case of different perspectives.
This continued on in the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (a film whose title makes little sense. In my mind, it would’ve made more sense if the first film was “Dawn” and the second was “Rise,” but that’s neither here nor there), which followed the Shakespearean tale of a power struggle within a growing race of hyper-intelligent apes, further complicated with the lingering human survivors of a killer viral outbreak. It was a beautiful film, and one that hopped to my personal number one spot of the top films for that year.
The latest film in the trilogy, War For the Planet of the Apes, is set to come out next year, and thus far, actual details have been relatively sparse…until now. Thanks to a press release from 20th Century Fox, we have a plot synopsis, and we also know that the studio will be bringing footage to the upcoming New York Comic Con, which runs from October 6-9 next weekend.
Below is the official synopsis:
“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 this 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.”
As mentioned above, something the new Apes run of films did wonderfully is give the audience a balance of perspectives and nuanced storytelling. Eventually we know this world will be taken over by apes, but it didn’t happen as easily as one might expect, as Caesar has proven to be an incredibly moral creature. With War For the Planet of the Apes, I hope they continue this trend, and don’t rush this process to annihilation just for the sake of getting to that point (I’m looking at you, Revenge of the Sith).
Given the story sensibilities of director Matt Reeves, I have faith that we won’t be let down.
What do you think? Are you excited for the final chapter in the new Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy? Let us know your thoughts down below!
War For the Planet of the Apes is set to hit theaters on July 14, 2017.
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SOURCE: 20th Century Fox (via Screen Rant)