The New “Apes” Film Is Really A Western

Matt Reeves’ upcoming “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the third film in the rebooted ‘Apes’ saga, is making one minor tweak as compared to the previous film.

While ‘War’ is very similar to the previous entry “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” in style and tone, the story will borrow a bit from a genre that hasn’t really been a part of the series thus far – the western.

In this case, one in which Caesar (Andy Serkis) goes up against the leader of the humans – The Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Caesar’s personal journey and his quest to take down his would-be destroyer is ultimately what drives the film Reeves told EW this week:

“It [a key development in the film] finally cracks Caesar. It sets him on a revenge mission. The movie goes from being this grand war movie to an almost Josey Wales-like Western.”

Caesar performer Andy Serkis added to the magazine that The Colonel isn’t some outright evil villain either: “The Colonel comes across as someone who’s psychotic. But he is fighting for the survival of humanity, as Caesar is fighting for the apes.”

One new character to the action is ‘Bad Ape,’ a sweet-natured simian hermit who escaped from abuse in captivity and now lives alone in the mountains. The lonely ape, played by Steve Zahn, is recruited to guide an expedition to a human military camp.

“War for the Planet of the Apes” opens in July.