The rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise that was kicked off with Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 is no doubt an epic take on the classic franchise. But while the movies feature fantastic action and strong characters on both sides, it’s hard to argue against anyone who says these are Caesar’s movies.
While the movies have featured quite a big spectacle to this point and a number of rememberable characters, it’s the character of Caesar and more specifically, the performance from Andy Serkis that has elevated these films from good to great. Serkis is the king of motion-capture and although he has a number of different characters under his belt, Caesar is without a doubt his best. Why? In a rare situation, Serkis has played the character through his entire life. Rise saw Caesar as a rebellious teenager realizing what the world was, but then you fast forward to this year’s War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar has become a family man who will do anything to protect his own, and that includes being the “commander in chief” of the evolved apes community. Here’s what Serkis had to say about playing Caesar through his entire life:
“It’s very rare that an actor can get to play the whole life of a character,” says Serkis, who again donned a performance-capture suit to play the noble primate. “It’s Boyhood, but for apes. It’s my Apehood!”
As for Matt Reeves’ War, it picks up just two years after the event of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and sees a tension-filled conflict brewing between Caesar and his apes and soldiers led by the Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. From trailers, the Colonel looks like Caesar’s toughest test yet, and as director Matt Reeves puts it, it sets Caesar on a path we’ve yet to see from him:
“It finally cracks Caesar,” returning director Matt Reeves says. “It sets him on a revenge mission. The movie goes from being this grand war movie to an almost Josey Wales-like Western.”
Here’s what Serkis had to say about the Colonel and their inevitable showdown:
“The Colonel comes across as someone who’s psychotic,” Serkis teases. “But he is fighting for the survival of humanity, as Caesar is fighting for the apes.”
Thank you to Entertainment Weekly for the above comments and new image. What do you think about War? Are you ready for a revenge-filled Caesar this time around? How have the trailers looked to you so far? War for the Planet of the Apes swings into theaters on July 14th, 2017.