War of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t arrive until July of 2017 but the filmmakers shared quite a bit at New York Comic Con. Director Matt Reeves, star Andy Serkis, and producer Dylan Clark sat before a packed theater and showed three clips from the film. The first is below:
That isn’t the trailer fans should clamor about. The filmmakers brought a seven-minute clip that gets the juices flowing. A complete scene with motion capture, unfinished CGI, and a few somewhat finished shots. While it isn’t a war sequence it shows how far our embittered Caesar has come. There’s little compassion in the ape. There’s little soul. Only anger and indifference.
The apes arrive on a human settlement and confront a man carrying lumber. He chooses wrong in how to deal with the well-armed and not happy simians. The scene shows how Caesar is all about action. There’s no hesitation. It also showcases the divide between Caesar’s allies. He’s gone a little Col. Kurtz from Apocalypse Now here.
The scene continues indoors where Caesar speaks considerably more than we’re used to hearing. It’s interesting to see the growth that has happened over the two years since the events of the last film. The group finds a young mute girl [no Newt here!] and the Orangutan Maurice shows the only warmth in the clip. Without spoiling anything, the dynamic is an interesting one and no one appears safe.
The filmmakers are hesitant to share a clip with so much unfinished work. It allows the audience to see just how much of Andy Serkis is in Caesar. They are one. There isn’t some handoff where the FC artists embellish. It’s all there and liberating to see seamlessly integrated into the rest of the scene.
However, that isn’t the trailer fans should clamor about either.
The third clip the filmmakers share is that of the first real trailer for the film. It’s going to get audiences ready for war in the best way possible. Human soldiers with laser scopes in a cave get sabotaged by our leading monkey. It’s a phenomenal sequence, right up to where Caeser borrows the earpiece from a victim. And hears Woody Harrelson’s Colonel character giving orders. Reeves teased that these two characters are drawn to each other in a complex and visceral way. This moment showcases that, and Caesar follows the soldier over a cliff as the trailer ends.
Terrific. This is a war film, with battles in snow and forest and remnants of human structures. The director hints about a major spoiler that is coming. This scene will showcase the full emotional range of Serkis, maybe the one that gets him a nomination.
It isn’t often this much disclosure happens on a major film so far in the future. They didn’t disappoint.