Following the success of 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the critical and commercial success of 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the obvious question was asked – where does this revived franchise end?
The second film’s director Matt Reeves, during interviews for ‘Dawn’, made it clear that the creative end point for the series would end where the original 1968 series effectively began – a distant future with an established ape civilisation and humanity reduced to beasts of burden.
How many films it would take to get there though was the big question. At the time “War for the Planet of the Apes” was being planned, indications from Reeves were that the revived series could go on for several more films before it hit the end point. There were no trilogy plans in place with each entry being handled on a film-by-film basis.
Even as recently as last year, when he was in post-production on ‘War,’ he and producer Dylan Clark said they have ideas where a fourth film could go and they don’t feel burdened or confined storytelling wise.
It’s not clear if that plan has changed, but producer Peter Chernin tells Cinema Blend this week that ‘War’ will very much mark the end point of a trilogy – as opposed to just a third entry in an ongoing series. Chernin says:
“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… 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.
This explains why today’s teaser clip includes the tagline ‘Witness the End’ which would suggest ‘War’ is a closing chapter – maybe not for the Apes franchise a whole, but certainly for Caesar’s journey. “War for the Planet of the Apes” opens in cinemas on July 14th.