Planet of the Apes Prequels

Last night 20th Century Fox debuted the first teaser trailer and footage from War for the Planet of the Apes, the third film in the prequel franchise leading up to the events of the classic 1968 film starring Charlton Heston. As Angie Han’s recap of the trailer and footage revealed, humans and apes are in an all out war, but Caesar still wrestles with the compassion he has for humans, having been raised by them and even helped by a few of them at various points.

The first intelligent ape has been an emotional anchor for the whole series since it began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but eventually he’ll have to die, whether at the hands of a human, or just because of old age. So when that time comes, will that be the end of the new Planet of the Apes prequels? According to franchise director Matt Reeves, the answer is no.

Speaking with Screen Rant, Reeves confirmed that regardless of the fate of Caesar in this movie or any sequels that may follow, the series could still continue:

It’s all one universe and Caesar has a very important part in ape history. We think of him being the seminal figure in ape history like Moses but as the idea, that tapestry, extends outward, there are all kinds of new characters in this story that you could absolutely follow. It’s really about this trajectory that all of the apes are on, that all of the characters are on, and have been very intentionally centered around Caesar, but the universe is meant to be larger than just him as well.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Caesar finally meets his end in this sequel, passing the torch to the next generation of apes. The good news is that even if Caesar dies, that doesn’t mean Andy Serkis can’t still lead the franchise as a new ape character. Visual effects allow Andy Serkis to do the motion-capture performance for any ape, so this is a unique situation where even though the franchise may lose the main character, that doesn’t mean we have to lose the star of these films too.

Andy Serkis even expanded on what Reeves said, explaining that any of these characters could be the focus on a story:

The way that all of the characters are drawn is so complete and nuanced, the way that Woody Harrelson’s character, the way that Maurice evolves, or Rocket, all of their journeys, should you choose, you could follow the story from any point of view and it would make total emotional, psychological, and philosophical sense.

War for the Planet of the Apes is easily one of my most anticipated movies of 2017, and I can’t wait to see how this surprisingly great prequel franchise continues on July 14, 2017.

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