War for the Planet of the Apes trailer

The war between man and ape is in full swing, and it doesn’t look pretty. Director Matt Reeves‘ War for the Planet of the Apes looks like the biggest and perhaps most intense addition to the series yet, but it also looks to continue the series’ great tradition of thoughtful science-fiction. Talk of war and abandoning humanity to save humanity is every bit as thrilling as some ape vs. man action in the latest War for the Planet of the Apes trailer.

If humanity would turn to one man to save them, it’d be Woody Harrelson, who looks like he’s going to share more than a few intense scenes with Caesar (Andy Serkis). Harrelson’s presence as the Colonel looms large in this trailer. We don’t see Harrelson play too many antagonists, but he looks like a great force for Caesar to go up against.

War for the Planet of the Apes co-stars Steve Zahn, Judy Greer, Karin Konoval, Amiah Miller, and Terry Notary. Here’s the latest trailer:

The opening shows just how far Caesar has come since Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Watching him continue to grow and continue to be tested in Dawn of the Planet Apes made for some thrilling drama. According to Reeves, who’s directing The Batman next, Caesar will face even more challenging decisions in War for the Planet of the Apes:

In War, we wanted to push him to this place where he would be pushed to extremes. And we would go deeper into his nature. And as a result, he’d be tested in a way that he would either fail or not fail, and it’s what he does in this movie that in our minds, makes him the seminal figure in ape history. If somebody was tested in this way, if somebody was this central to the creation of the ape world in the human story, that person would be like a god. So that’s how the whole idea of trying to create him as sort of a Biblical epic story.

Reeves also told us he sees his new Apes sequel as a bit of a western. With the contemplative, badass Caesar riding silently on his horse, Reeves couldn’t help but see a little Clint Eastwood and other classic heroes in the character. The director and some of his collaborators actually revisited a few classic westerns, some Akira Kurosawa films, Bridge on the River Kwai, and Lawrence of Arabia to prep for War for the Planet of the Apes.

Here’s the official synopsis for the movie:

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.

War for the Planet of the Apes opens in theaters July 14.

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