War for the Planet of the Apes is shaping up to be the darkest chapter yet in the ongoing saga of Caesar the ape (who's once again portrayed via motion-capture by the acclaimed mo-cap performer, Andy Serkis). The newly-released second trailer for the next Planet of the Apes installment (see the preview above) further delivers on the promise of the movie's title, showing Caesar and the rest of ape-kind preparing for their full-blown war with the surviving remnants of humanity.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes rebooted the Planet of the Apes movie franchise back in 2011, introducing a younger and relatively inexperienced Caesar to moviegoing audiences in the process. The rebooted Planet of the Apes movie property enjoyed gains in both critical standing and commercial success when filmmaker Matt Reeves took over the helm, releasing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014 (to a worldwide gross of $710 million) and setting to work on the next chapter in Caesar's story (the aforementioned War), shortly thereafter.
Similar to the first War for the Planet of the Apes trailer, the second trailer for War grounds the larger conflict between humans and apes in the more intimate conflict between Caesar and the tough-as-nails military leader known as simply "The Colonel" (played by Woody Harrelson). The new War trailer also further examines Caesar's darker mindset in the movie, expanding on the gloomy portrait of the character painted by the War for the Planet of the Apes sizzle reel that was shown at New York Comic-Con last year. 2oth Century Fox has also released the new poster for the film (following the debut of the second War for the Planet of the Apes trailer during the studio's CinemaCon 2017 panel), as you can see below:
As this new trailer further drives home, it's The Colonel and not Caesar who is the aggressor in this burgeoning war between humans and apes in War for the Planet of the Apes. From a directing perspective, Reeves appears to have once again done a good job here of balancing out the ape versus human spectacle and action sequences with quieter scenes, wherein the film's characters reflect on the bigger issues that have given rise to the conflict that (spoiler?) will eventually give rise to the proper "Planet of the Apes". On the lighter side, we also get our first look at Steve Zahn's comedic "Bad Ape" character here.
While the new trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes includes audio snippets from Rise (namely, voiceover dialogue of John Lithgow's character talking about the infant Caesar), the new Planet of the Apes looks and feels foremost like a companion piece to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; suggesting that Reeves will bring Caesar's story from that film to a comfortable resting place with this movie. As for what comes after War: Reeves is moving over to the DCEU to work on The Batman next, but there may yet prove to be more to Caesar's journey and/or the Apes franchise yet.
Source: 20th Century Fox
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