Last week, 20th Century Fox showcased the first full War for the Planet of the Apes trailer, following a teaser that arrived in October. This installment of the Planet of the Apes prequel franchise is shaping up to be one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2017, and earlier this week, fans and press members were treated to a special preview on the 20th Century Fox lot, where director Matt Reeves made quite the surprising comment. Here’s what he had to say during the studio’s presentation, which puts a different spin on the movie.
“The movie has heightened everything and we have a tremendous amount of humor, which you haven’t had in either of the previous films.”
Variety reports that Matt Reeves was on hand to introduce a series of clips and the first trailer at this presentation, but the “tremendous amounts of humor” comment took many by surprise. Both 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes were both wildly successful, but were both practically devoid of any humor. While it wouldn’t take much for War for the Planet of the Apes to be “funnier” than its predecessors, the director’s notion that the film has a “tremendous amount of humor” is rather unexpected, especially since none of this humor is featured in the trailer.
The story centers on Andy Serkis’ Caesar, who becomes aware that both the humans and his fellow primates are both on the brink of complete extinction. In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
Matt Reeves also added that the technology used by WETA with the motion capture ape characters has advanced so much in the two years since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, that the ability to convey the actors’ emotions is “leagues above” the technology that was available in the last film. Andy Serkis returns as the iconic Caesar, along with Judy Greer’s Cornelia and Karin Konowal’s Maurice, with a slew of brand new characters coming aboard. Woody Harrelson plays the Colonel, with Steve Zahn playing a “war ape,” and the supporting cast rounded out by Gabriel Chavarria, Ty Olsson, Sara Canning, Chad Rook, Terry Notary and Alessandro Juliani.
20th Century Fox has set a July 14, 2017 release date, which goes up against Bad Dads, STX’s spin-off of this summer’s surprise hit Bad Moms, and Midnight Sun, starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger. This highly-anticipated summer sequel is also situated between two more highly-anticipated movies, Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7, 2017) and Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk (July 21, 2017). 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes made $482 million in worldwide box office from a $93 million, while 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made $711 million worldwide, on a production budget of $170 million. We’ll find out in July if War for the Planet of the Apes can top its predecessors at the box office.