The character of Caesar has gone through a lot of changes since being introduced in 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and now thanks to a new recap featurette you can quickly relive Caesar's evolution through all three movies including the upcoming wrap-up film War for the Planet of the Apes.
In Rise, we met Caesar as an infant being raised by research scientist Will Rodman (James Franco), and witnessed his accelerated development and eventual imprisonment. While in prison, Caesar first showed the glimmers of leadership that would come to full realization in the trilogy's second film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which saw a decimated human population coming into conflict with a small society of intelligent apes. In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar is embittered after a terrible battle against humans, and sets out on a quest for revenge against The Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. During his journey he meets the human orphan Nova, who could be the catalyst that brings about a new unity between apes and humans.
In a new featurette from 20th Century Fox, Caesar's arc is retraced from his humble beginnings as Rodman's exceptional pupil through his emergence as the leader of his people and on into his new incarnation as a battle-weary elder seeking to finish the war that has ravaged both his people and humanity. The package is a reminder of how rich and full the character of Caesar has become over the course of three movies, and gets us ready to experience the culmination of his destiny in the final film. You can watch it in the space above.
In addition to retracing Caesar's story arc, the recap video also gives us a chance to see how the visual effects used to bring Caesar to life have improved over the course of a few years. Caesar was already an amazing creation in Rise, with Andy Serkis doing his usual fine mo-cap work, but in War the visual effects have become even more astonishingly convincing.
In a time when movie characters in blockbusters often seem thin, it's somewhat amazing to note that arguably the most fully-fleshed-out character in any current big-budget franchise is actually an ape performed by an actor who is totally hidden behind CGI. That Caesar has become such a compelling character is a testament not only to the technical people and Serkis but also Matt Reeves, who has taken pains to develop the character since taking over the trilogy with Dawn.
Though War for the Planet of the Apes is currently tracking to open behind the numbers posted by Dawn, reviews for the film indicate that it's at least as strong as the second movie, and a more-than-satisfying conclusion to Caesar's story.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017