War for the Planet of the Apes Ends Caesar's Story

Andy Serkis as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes producer Peter Chernin explains why the upcoming film concludes Caesar's story. Twentieth Century Fox took a different approach with the Planet of the Apes story when they rebooted the franchise in 2011, with Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The series continued with Matt Reeves' sequel in 2014, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and advances this year with Reeves' next chapter, War for the Planet of the Apes.

Caesar's (Andy Serkis) story began in Rise, when he was born and subsequently raised by Dr. Rodman (James Franco). It was the beginning of enhanced ape intelligence and the accidental dispersal of the Simian Flu, which ended up wiping out the vast majority of the human population. At the end of the sequel, the war between humans and apes had unwittingly begun. The third chapter, War, sees that conflict come to a head - and that could mean the end of Caesar.

War for the Planet of the Apes producer Peter Chernin, who got his start in Hollywood by producing Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and its sequel, Dawn), explained to Den of Geek why the upcoming third installment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise will be the concluding chapter in Caesar's story:

“We made a very conscious decision, frankly, when we started thinking about this seven or eight years ago, to look at these three movies as a trilogy in a lot of ways…It was inevitable from the moment apes gained intelligence that apes and humans were going to be on a collision course for what would be the dominant species on Earth. And this movie is the war to resolve that dominance. We've always looked at this as a three-part story. And the appropriate ending of that story is to see which species dominates.”

While the first two movies were more of a slow burn, all of the marketing for War for the Planet of the Apes (including its title) suggests a full-scale conflict between the apes and humans - led by Caesar and the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), respectively. After years of struggling to survive, we will see that conflict take a toll on Caesar, who the apes have come to view as some sort of messiah, according to Reeves. "The Caesar you see at the beginning of this movie is not the Caesar you see at the end of this movie or during the journey he goes through," Chernin added.

Even though War marks the end of Caesar's story, Reeves and 20th Century Fox have a few ideas on how to continue the Apes franchise after the third installment. Ever since the rebooted series began, the filmmakers have been, more or less, leading up to the general events of the original Planet of the Apes movies. That notion is backed by a recent teaser that included a voiceover from original Planet of the Apes star Charlton Heston. Whether a fourth movie does indeed happen, as well as what that movie will entail, are things we may not know until after War for the Planet of the Apes releases this July.

NEXT: Could Andy Serkis Have a Role in The Batman?

Source: Den of Geek

Key Release Dates
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017
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