Like many film fans, when I hear Hollywood plans to reboot a franchise I love and adore, my immediate reaction is not positive. That said, there have been incredible reboots and re-launches, and for my money, the best is the revamped Planet of the Apes saga. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was better than anyone expected, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is legitimately great—it wound up on my top ten list that year. The next chapter, War for the Planet of the Apes drops summer 2017, and if this first trailer is in any way representative of the finished product, good golly we’re in for another fantastic ape-versus-human adventure.
This trailer makes War for the Planet of the Apes look like a straight-up Apocalypse Now-style gritty war movie. With, you know, crazy lifelike motion capture technology that makes you believe Woody Harrelson’s character is actually fighting intelligent apes.
Tense and dramatic and action-packed, this has all of the emotional weight and moral ambiguity of the first two films, but somehow managed to crank the stakes up even higher. War for the Planet of the Apes looks to provide just what the title promises, a clash between humans and apes with the winner getting the ultimate prize, control over our planet.
On top of what we see here, a bunch of folks recently saw a longer preview with even more footage, including the opening scene. And word on the street is that it’s remarkable. So there’s that to hang out hats on. There are new friends and foes, both human and ape alike, and tons more to anticipate.
Here’s 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 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.
Directed by Matt Reeves, who returns to the director’s chair after helming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes kicks off on July 14, 2017.