Later this year, the Planet of the Apes franchise will return to the big screen with War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest film to follow the story of Andy Serkis' apes leader, Caesar, and which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting blockbuster films in a year packed to the brim with them. Started in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the franchise has quickly become one of the most critically-acclaimed blockbuster franchises in the industry once again, which isn't too bad for a franchise that originally began its cinematic journey back in 1968 and since then, has continued to put out new installments, all to varying degrees of success.
The hype and anticipation surrounding War has only continued to grow since the film's first teaser trailer in the final month of 2016 as well. Similar to what the studio is doing for this year's Alien franchise installment Alien: Covenant, it looks like 20th Century Fox will be incorporating a unique use of technology into their promotion of the Planet of the Apes franchise later this year.
According to Variety, the Planet of the Apes franchise is getting its own virtual reality experience, created by the Fox Innovation Lab. While details on the experience are still sparse, it will apparently let users "cross the species line, and band together with other apes in their fight against humans." Co-produced by Andy Serkis' Imaginati Studios, the experience will reportedly not be based around the story of War, with no release date officially announced yet either. However, it would make sense for the experience to be released at least around the same time as War this summer from a promotional standpoint alone, so that they can be marketed together.
This new comes just a few days after Fox's recent announcement of an Alien: Covenant VR experience being in the works too. Unlike Covenant, however, which is reportedly being created with the new film from director Ridley Scott in mind, it seems like the Planet of the Apes experience will be much less based around the characters and story of the new film, as much as it will provide a general dive into the Apes world itself. A demo of the experience was shown at a CES press event last night in Las Vegas, and consisted of one scene, in which the user faced off against another ape. Apparently, there was quite a lot of chest-bumping involved.
The news further backs up Fox's previous comments about virtual reality technology, with the studio having repeatedly emphasized its hopes to use the technology as a commercial opportunity, rather than just being used as an additional promotional device to market its films. The Apes demo was set up on an Oculus Rift headset, but like the Covenant experience, is also expected to be available on other major VR platforms and headsets upon its release. No other details were revealed about the Apes VR Experience, but with War set to hit theatres in July, hopefully fans of the franchise won't have to wait too long before finding out more.
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017