20th Century Fox didn’t have a presentation at the International Comic-Con in San Diego this past summer; meaning the studio wasn’t able to use the global geek convention to promote its upcoming tentpoles, such as this December’s Assassin’s Creed video game movie adaptation. The studio will instead be using New York Comic-Con 2016 to drum up excitement for its upcoming slate of big-budget and/or franchise offerings, among them being War for the Planet of the Apes: the next installment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes movie series, as well as the immediate followup to 2014’s critical/commercial smash hit, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Andy Serkis reprises his acclaimed motion-capture role as the ape Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes, with Dawn co-screenwriter and director Matt Reeves also back in the saddle behind the camera. More footage and details are expected to be revealed about the film during its NYCC presentation this weekend. In the meantime though, 20th Century Fox has gone ahead and released a teaser for the film (in the form of a “digital billboard”) that you can check out, above.
For those who missed it, Fox recently unveiled the official synopsis for War for the Planet of the Apes, revealing that the film pits Caesar against a ruthless human adversary; known for now as simply The Colonel and played by Woody Harrelson, as it were. It remains to be seen whether or not The Colonel and Caesar share any sort of personal history together, but the movie’s plot summary doesn’t suggest that is the case.
The NYCC teaser for the next Planet of the Apes movie features the dialogue spoken by Caesar to Malcolm (Jason Clarke) near the end of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, after the pair had attempted (but failed) to prevent a full-scale war breaking out between the surviving remnants of humanity and ape-kind. It’s a fitting way to tease the over-arching narrative in War for the Planet of the Apes too, as Caesar – after suffering what the film’s official synopsis teases are “unimaginable losses” – is forced to become a war general of sorts for his fellow apes; in the process, also becoming a figure who will one day attain mythical status in the history of ape-kind on Earth.
Caesar’s ongoing evolution as a character has always served as the beating heart of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, so it’s appropriate that War for the Planet of the Apes should continue to push the envelope in that respect by taking him to some genuinely dark emotional territory. While the human players in the recent Planet of the Apes film have varied in terms of their character development by comparison, one imagines that The Colonel – an antagonist played by a heavy-hitter such as Harrelson – could make for a pretty effective (and perhaps even equally compelling) foil to Caesar in the film, too.
War for the Planet of the Apes opens in U.S. theaters on July 14th, 2017.