20th Century Fox has released its new trailer for the 2017 film War for the Planet of the Apes.
This movie is the studio’s third since rebooting the popular 1960s and 1970s Planet of the Apes film franchise and is similarly crafted to follow Pierre Boulle’s 1963 French novel La Planete des Singes (Monkey Planet).
The current Planet of the Apes universe also includes Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).
Per 20th Century Fox, the synopsis of War for the Planet of the Apes reads as follows.
“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.”
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) December 9, 2016
Storyline aside, War for features the return of Dawn of director Matt Reeves and resumes the story just two years after Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) civil war among the ape civilization. The movie also features actor Woody Harrelson in the role of human protagonist named the Colonel, a news item that has fans of the popular actor very excited since its revelation by Variety in 2015.
The film jumps in, according to Collider, in the midst of a now-raging, violent war between Earth’s ape and human residents.
“The [War for the Rise of the Apes] trailer has a wonderfully epic feel to it,” said Collider’s Adam Chitwood, who noted that it reminded him of “how [Director Matt] Reeves altered the [Planet of the Apes] franchise” by working to “slow things down and take a more natural approach to the apes’ evolution.”
“If Dawn of showed the events that solidified the divide between ape and man,” the writer continued, “then the aptly named War for looks to show us the final stand between apes and humans.”
And it is at that precise moment of conflict, Chitwood noted that he “imagines we’ll have finally arrived at the moment where the apes have taken their place atop the food chain.”
It is this startling conclusion — that humans can be made to be subservient to their believed-to-be Darwinian cousins — that is at the heart of not just War for but the entire Planet of the Apes rebooted film franchise.
Despite the conflict at hand, Collider’s Chitwood was quick to characterize War for Planet of the Apes as nonetheless a visually “tremendous” film.
“I love the change of setting from the forest-y Dawn to [War for’s] wintry landscape,” said the writer. “It offers a refreshing palette that we haven’t yet seen in an Apes movie, and reflects the exhaustion of both sides as the movie picks up two years after the events of Dawn.”
War for Planet of the Apes also stars Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club), Judy Greer (FXX’s Archer), Terry Notary (The Adventures of Tintin), Karin Konoval (2012), and Max Lloyd-Jones (MTV’s Scream: The TV Series).
The movie, which is not expected to include comedic musical show tunes, is set to debut in U.S. theaters starting July 14, 2017.
And perhaps, given the success that War for Planet of the Apes is expected to have in light of the popularity of the franchise as a whole, the newest installment could be the most successful “monkey movie” of all time.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]