A new trailer for War For the Planet of the Apes was just dropped, and while the Matt Reeves-directed sequel brings Andy Serkis back as Caesar, he’s not the center of attention in this teaser. While Caesar is still a favorite, Woody Harrelson joins the franchise, known only as Colonel at this point. Harrelson brings his usual brand of bravado to War For the Planet of the Apes and proves that war is never personal. The new trailer comes on the heels of a shorter teaser for the film which features a speech made by Charlton Heston in the original 1968 Planet of the Apes.
Charlton Heston Believes Mankind Will Not End
As the Telegraph reports, the full trailer released today for War for the Planet of the Apes was preceded by a shorter 30-second spot that paid homage to the franchise’s origins. In the 1968 Planet of the Apes, George Taylor (Charlton Heston) makes a speech about his faith in humanity’s ability to survive. Recited as a voice over, that Planet of the Apes speech was based on an earlier speech made by Nobel-Prize-winning author William Faulkner.
In the Planet of the Apes speech, Heston is, of course, referring to the strife between man and ape, expressing his belief that humans are destined to conquer the planet of the apes.
“I refuse to accept the end of man,” says Heston’s Taylor. “I believe he will endure. He will prevail.”
For that 1968 film, Charlton Heston was reciting a speech that indicated man alone has certain qualities that virtually guarantee him victory.
“Not because alone among God’s creatures he has a voice. But because he has a soul, spirit capable of compassion and endurance.”
However, the audio used for the War for the Planet of the Apes seems to be used as a piece of irony. The short teaser combines clips from the Planet of the Apes franchise with actual historical footage to suggest that mankind’s doom at the hands of the apes was destined to happen.
As the teaser ends, the words “witness the end” appear, foreshadowing a bad end for man.
Woody Harrelson Takes Up the Fight in War for the Planet of the Apes
In 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) finds himself faced with a war he tried desperately to avoid. As Variety shares, that war has come full force by the time the much-awaited sequel picks up and Caesar is now committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the apes. The trailer emphasizes the fact that war has come and, as Woody Harrelson later says, it’s the “greatest war,” playing on the idea that World War I was once called “The Great War” at the time it was waged.
One of the most mysterious sequences in the War for the Planet of the Apes trailer concerns the existence of an unknown human girl who seems to have been taken in by the apes. When asked why the girl travels with the apes, Caesar replies it’s because she has no one else. This is either done to show Caesar’s ability to feel compassion, or may indicate this human girl plays a pivotal role in events to come.
It seems unlikely this has something to do with Caesar’s compassion, as he later says there is no mercy in war.
In fact, Caesar may have lost his ability to grant mercy, because a scene between Caesar and the Colonel suggests the leader of the apes is out for revenge by some point in the film.
“You are impressive. You’re smart as hell. You’re stronger than we are, but you’re taking this all much too personally,” says Harrelson’s Colonel. “So emotional!”
War for the Planet of the Apes comes to theaters on July 14.
[Featured Image by Twentieth Century Fox]