For a while, it seemed as though Hollywood was incapable of making a good reboot of the Planet of the Apes series. Tim Burton tried in 2001 with a remake of Planet of the Apes starring Mark Wahlberg, but his attempt couldn't live up to the original, in spite of its more advanced special effects.
20th Century Fox had initially planned on making a sequel, but instead opted to reboot the series once again with 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes. To almost everyone's surprise, Rupert Wyatt's Rise managed to do the series justice, partly in thanks to motion-capture guru Andy Serkis' outstanding performance as Caesar. When it was revealed that Wyatt would not be returning for a sequel and would instead be replaced by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, another shade of doubt was cast over the franchise. But once again, Reeves managed to top Rise with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with even better special effects and more powerful performances from the motion-capture artists playing the apes.
Now, it seems Reeves is going to try to do the very same once again with War for the Planet of the Apes, which will likely continue right where Dawn left off, with an all-out war between the apes and humans imminent. Confirming previous reports of an October start date for filming, director Matt Reeves shared the first official set image from War for the Planet of the Apes, featuring what appears to be two motion-capture artists back in action as the ultra smart apes.
It seems, as it was in Dawn, that the apes will once again be the main focus in War for the Planet of the Apes. The film will star Andy Serkis as the ape leader Caesar, and this time around he will be joined by Steve Zahn, who will be playing a new ape that could be taking over Koba's role in the threequel.
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) October 17, 2015
The film won't be made up entirely of apes, however, as both Woody Harrelson and Gabriel Chavarria are also set to be playing new human characters in War for the Planet of the Apes. Harrelson is an accomplished actor known for roles in True Detective and The Hunger Games, and most reports indicate he will be playing a villainous character, perhaps similar to Gary Oldman's in Dawn. Chavarria, on the other hand, is considered to be more of an unknown actor, having had smaller roles in projects like Aquarius and Southland. While specific details on Chavarria's character are unknown at this point, it's very possible that he could play a key role similar to James Franco and Jason Clarke's in the previous installments of the reboot.
Considering that filming is now underway, it's very possible that we'll get even more news on War for the Planet of the Apes in the coming weeks. We already know who the two new human leads will be, as well as a new ape. It still remains unclear, however, when exactly this film takes place, although most signs point to it continuing directly after Dawn. In any event, here's hoping Reeves will manage to make another engaging story following the struggle between the humans and apes in a post-apocalyptic world.
War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters July 14th, 2017.
Source: Matt Reeves