Over two installments, the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise has been building toward full-on confrontation between mankind and its intellectually evolved simian brethren. With War for the Planet of the Apes, that day has come: Its latest trailer (watch it above) makes plain it’ll be a bleak, brutal battle to the end between Woody Harrelson’s no-nonsense commander and primate leader Caesar (a motion-captured Andy Serkis).
Directed by Matt Reeves (who also helmed 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and is set to direct Warner Bros’ The Batman), War will take place some time after its predecessor, with Caesar now capable of speaking eloquently and many of his hairy compatriots boasting at least a passing grasp of English. That progress rattles some humans, particularly, Harrelson’s Colonel, who fires up his troops with the proposition that sometimes saving civilization means doing inhuman things. Moreover, his habit of shaving his head bald with a razor blade and donning facial war paint makes it the second big-budget 2017 film (after this past March’s Kong: Skull Island) to directly shout out to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 classic Apocalypse Now.
Featuring a host of grim imagery that indicates this skirmish will result in enormous losses on both sides — and will determine, once and for all, the planet’s true ruling species — War for the Planet of the Apes should continue the series’ stirring sci-fi wartime drama (and further its groundbreaking-CGI legacy) when it storms into theaters on July 14.
More Woody Harrelson: Watch the (NSFW) Red-Band Trailer for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’:
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