Don’t let the PG-13 rating fool you, according to series stalwart Andy Serkis, War For the Planet of the Apes will come packing a “darker, brutal” story than its forebears when it debuts in July.
Hot off this morning’s grand trailer reveal, Collider has now posted an extensive interview with Serkis and Dylan Clark, one of the producers overseeing 20th Century Fox’s lucrative apes vs. humans saga. From that core, interspecies clash to Caesar himself, both Serkis and Clark solicited all sorts of questions regarding War For the Planet of the Apes, and we’ve combed through the interview to unearth some early story details for the Matt Reeves-directed picture.
As is so often the case for a blockbuster sequel, War For the Planet of the Apes is being held up as a darker ride than its predecessors, but here, Andy Serkis explored the nuance of the film’s tone, which is brutal in terms of “emotions and context,” rather than a gratuitous use of blood or horror.
“This is a much darker, much more brutal, harder, tougher, very brutal film. As brutal as you can get within a PG-13. Not in an overly graphic way but in its emotions and context. There’s a real sense of foreboding in this movie.”
Serkis then strayed into spoiler territory to talk about how Dawn of the Planet of the Apes lays the necessary groundwork for the next arc in Caesar’s story.
“If you remember where we left off, the apes had become divided under the leadership of Koba. Caesar was carrying an enormous amount of guilt after going against one of their primary tenets which is that you shall not kill apes.” Serkis revealed, “So two years have passed and the ALZ drug has continued to enable Caesar to develop. He’s there now living in a situation where both apes and humans are at war. There’s a sense that this is the crux, this is the climactic moment where both species are under huge threat and it’s pretty apocalyptic.”
The Matt Reeves actioner won’t be without its moments of levity, according to Clark, who countered that the “brutal” nature of the threequel is balanced with emotional moments which, truth be told, has ensured Fox’s Apes franchise has remained successful across recent installments.
“I think we’re trying to find a much better back and forth balance between very impactful emotional drama and how it effects Caesar, but also give entertainment and lighter moments. There’s levity… There are more reasons to smile and laugh than there were in prior movies…”
War For the Planet of the Apes marches into theaters on July 14, 2017.