Given the track record of prequels, sequels, and reboots for all things Planet of the Apes, there was obvious trepidation regarding how Hollywood would end up treating it’s latest attempts in creating a franchise around a movie that had one of the largest and most successful surprise endings in the history of film.
Tim Burton’s reboot had been terrible and James Franco being cast in the first prequel didn’t necessarily help matters either as most of the movies he’d been in thus far with either hit or miss. Sure, he’d won an Academy Award for 127 Hours, but he’d also followed that up with Eat Pray Love and Your Highness. Fortunately, though, the Spring Breakers star was on the hit column with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, signaling that maybe Hollywood had finally figured out a way to build towards a prequel of one of their classics.
Followed up by the even better Gary Oldman cast Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the franchise was building up to a climax that fans wanted to see. Apes who had been tested and given greater skills and capabilities than what they had before. Their leader Caesar, a former testee who managed to escape the lab and abuse only to have humans show up again and threaten the habitat of himself and all the others he’d saved.
Knowing the Planet of the Apes, we always knew it would be headed this way, we just didn’t know how or why. And now, with the reliable Woody Harrelson leading the charge, it seems the franchise is finally in good hands for what will likely be a strong final act to the trilogy.
War for the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters nationwide July 14, 2017.