There is an uprising coming and the food chain is changing as War for the Planet of the Apes is preparing its assault on cinemas. While the battle may be coming to an end, fans of the longstanding Apes series know that pushing humanity to extinction is just the start of the story.
Going as far back as the novel La Planète des Singes in 1963 and the famous Planet of the Apes film in 1968, we have more than enough source material to keep rolling out barrels of monkeys until Hollywood joins the statue of Liberty in the wasteland of an ape-dominated world.
The original film starred Charlton Heston as the lead and Planet of the Apes followed a dystopian future where the apes had long since ruled. Fox's 2011 reboot series charted the early days of the apes and an outbreak of Simian Flu that caused the fall of man. Whether or not Fox's #scifi series will ever tie into the Heston era remains to be seen, but keen to avoid the association with the lackluster Tim Burton reboot from 2001, it looks War's director #MattReeves could be throwing in the towel after this outing.
No More Monkey Business
Speaking in an exclusive interview with CinemaBlend, producer Peter Chernin claims that it was always the plan to close out the trilogy of films with an epic war number, which is exactly what the threequel seems to be doing:
"We've always looked at these three movies as a trilogy. Not to say it's the end of the Apes movies, because what we're trying to do is get as close up to the original Planet of the Apes. But we were always looking at these three movies as a trilogy, and I think this movie in some ways completes this trilogy from when Caesar was born. What we're trying to do with this movie is bring it to a final war between humans and apes, and obviously, you'll see what happens there."
While there could be a twist to the tale, don't expect humanity to come out on top when War is released in July. Although the studio was already planning at least a fourth entry, we haven't heard anything to corroborate that story in quite some time. Speaking in October last year, Reeves was quoted as saying that he absolutely had ideas about where the story could go next. However, the latest interview seems to downplay any continuation under his leadership.
Opening The Cage
This doesn't necessarily mean that we won't get more Apes, because bear in mind that Reeves wasn't the first director to helm the series. There is no denying that the trilogy that was started by Rupert Wyatt back in 2011 has been commercial dynamite, and Fox would be foolish to let a popular franchise lie dormant for too long *cough* Alien *cough*.
As for the role of not only Reeves, but the lead character Caesar (played by #AndySerkis), it seems like at least their story could be coming to a close. Thankfully, the latest trailer and Chernin promise that War will be an epic showdown to live up to the legacy of its predecessors:
"When Caesar was born, it put him on a collision course with human civilization. And we wanted to complete that collision course in this movie."
Whether or not we carry on "monkeying" around with Reeves and Serkis, a decision is likely to be made very soon, as we dawn closer to the release of War. It will likely be decided on early reviews and financial predictions, which so far look to be positive. Starring the likes of James Franco, Gary Oldman, and now Woody Harrelson, there has been no shortage of A-list talent or critical praise for the series.
Reeves took over for the sequel film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and arguably took it in an even bolder direction. We had assumed that Dawn was man's last stand, but War shows that the human race is anything but done just yet. Sure, it might be a shame to bow out after just three films, but surely this is better than slipping on the banana skin a few films down the line and being accused of milking the monkeys for all they're worth?
Check out the trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes and don't forget our poll below!
Should Serkis and Reeves return for more Planet of the Apes films?