The latest trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes compares the film's struggle to the real-life work of Jane Goodall. The original Planet of the Apes movies were certainly built around a heady sci-fi concept with social and political ramifications. It's been Matt Reeves' prequel trilogy, however, that has put the spotlight on the concepts of personhood and bigotry. More than just a social parable, the films have benefited from powerful performances, detailed character work, and even blockbuster action. All told, the new Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the most unique tentpoles around.
While Rise of the Planet of the Apes took everyone by surprise with its quality and success, the next two films in the series have been greeted with much more anticipation. Before Reeves moves onto The Batman, genre fans and general audiences alike are eager to see how the modern series wraps up the tale of Caesar, his people, and the last bands of humans on the planet Earth. Trailers and TV spots have highlighted the story and the action, but 20th Century Fox are now trying something more true to the spirit of the film for their latest bit of promotion.
20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes which mixes in a speech by and footage of famed anthropologist and animal rights activist Jane Goodall, along with shots of the various characters from the film. The clips not only highlight the very human struggle of the various players in the new movie, but preach the concept of compassion for all living beings. The trailer also announces that the studio has partnered with Goodall's foundation to help rehabilitate chimpanzees in honor of the movie, adding some real-world benefit to the savvy marketing move.
While it may be a bit lofty for Fox to compare their action film to the work of Goodall, the best fiction does help audiences rethink real-world issues. Though large corporations are hardly at the forefront of bettering the environment and rehabilitating animals, it's a nice gesture that the film will help out in some small way. The theme of the entire Planet of the Apes seres has been about the lines between human and animal, so it's nice to see it will now have an impact in reality.
The new film will also cap off a trilogy that has shone new light on debates about personhood. While plenty of sci-fi films examine the humanity of artificial intelligence, few take a look at primates and ask questions about their rights. By wrapping the conversation in a popular blockbuster, Reeves and all involved have crafted the most mainstream argument for primate personhood that's yet been made. Regardless of where the franchise falls in the annals of film history, it's undeniable that it's opened many new eyes to a somewhat fringe issue that has serious ramifications for the future.
For fans of the franchise, it will certainly be bittersweet when War for the Planet hits theaters. It will not only mark the end of Caesar's journey, but perhaps even the franchise. Then again, Reeves and Fox have proven the property still has a place in the modern milieu of blockbusters, so we wouldn't be surprised if a follow-up to War for the Planet of the Apes eventually emerges.
Source: 20th Century Fox
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) release date: Jul 14, 2017