War for the Planet of the Apes Footage & NYCC Panel Description
New York Comic Con kicked off yesterday, and the first day ended with a bang as 20th Century Fox debuted the first footage from War for the Planet of the Apes. The studio dropped a motion poster before the panel began, with fans in attendance treated to approximately seven minutes of footage, in addition to the full trailer. Since neither of those videos have been officially released quite yet, we have descriptions of the footage shown at the panel, which was received quite well by the NYCC crowd.
Business Insider was among the numerous press outlets in attendance for the NYCC panel, which featured franchise star Andy Serkis, who plays the iconic Caesar, director Matt Reeves and producer Dylan Clark. The director announced that the story is set two years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, confirming previous reports that there wouldn't be a huge jump forward in time, like the 15-year gap between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis revealed that Caesar still carries an enormous amount of guilt for killing one of his own, the ape Koba (Toby Kebbell) from 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Here's what he had to say below.
"He's carrying a phenomenal amount of guilt about killing Koba. His desire for revenge becomes dark and obsessive. Koba keeps coming into his mind."
Matt Reeves also confirmed that this sequel will be told exclusively from Caesar's point of view, instead of being split between the humans and the apes. The new villain this time around is Woody Harrelson as The Colonel, and Dylan Clark teased there is a "bizarre connection" between the two, and they are drawn to one another. Fans were then treated to a small behind-the-scenes video, showcasing Andy Serkis in his motion capture gear, before the seven minutes of raw footage was shown.
The footage was unfinished, with some scenes featuring actors in motion capture suits as the apes, while other scenes featured fully-rendered apes. The new footage opens with quite the shocking shot, Casesar killing a man who is about to surrender, after they find him at his home in the woods. The group of apes, which includes the kind-hearted Maurice (Karin Konoval) from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the new ape Rocket (Terry Notary), then proceed to ransack his home before they encounter a young girl with a speech impediment, believed to be the daughter of the man they just killed. Maurice ask Caesar if she can join them, and while he initially says no, Maurice says she won't leave the girl behind, and the next shot shows the girl riding on horseback behind Maurice, as Caesar's facial expressions show how much he is against the young girl coming along. After the seven-minute clip was finished, director Matt Reeves described Caesar as "bad-ass Clint Eastwood Caesar."
At the end of the War for the Planet of the Apes panel, fans were shown a full trailer. The trailer begins with a group of soldiers who are taken out by Caesar, in front of what appeared to be the apes' home from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The trailer also shows Woody Harrelson's Colonel who offers a prophetic message, stating "All of human history has led to this moment. If we lose, it will be a planet of apes." The trailer ends with the Colonel pointing a gun to Caesar's head, as the ape kneels before him.
20th Century Fox hasn't indicated when the trailer may be released quite yet, but it's possible that it may be attached to prints of the studio's action-comedy Keeping Up With the Joneses, in theaters October 21. The supporting cast includes Judy Greer as Cornelia, Steve Zahn as a new war ape and Gabriel Chavarria as Preacher. 20th Century Fox has set a July 14, 2017 release date for this action-packed sequel, which currently has the date to itself, sandwiched between Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7, 2017, and Warner Bros.' Dunkirk on July 21, 2017.