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War for the Planet of the Apes Director Reveals Classic Influences

by  in Movie News Comment
War for the Planet of the Apes Director Reveals Classic Influences

With War for the Planet of the Apes just a handful of weeks away, 20th Century Fox has amped up the film’s presence with a slew of promos featuring the beloved franchise’s darker new tone. Even though the movie takes place within the property’s current prequel trilogy, the stakes have seemingly never felt higher, and it could end up being an Apes installment the likes fans have never seen before.

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Matt Reeves, the film’s director, recently shared what some of his influences were — particularly outside of the franchise’s roots — when developing Caesar’s latest adventure. “I wanted this film to be like a Biblical epic,” Reeves revealed in the newest issue of Empire Magazine. “Mark [Bomback, Reeves’ co-writer] and I looked at classic war movies: The Bridge On The River Kwai, Patton, Apocalypse Now.”

The approach seems to have definitely carried through into the final cut of the film, as its teaser trailers have portrayed a true sense of gritty tactility, but war and action weren’t the only subjects the director wanted to embody. “…We were also thinking in terms of things such as The Ten Commandments,” Reeves continued. “I wanted it to feel very intimate in the foreground, but with grand vistas always dwarfing [the characters]. In a sense it’s about these two species pitted against each other and nature being greater than both of them. I wanted a David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia) ape movie.”

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

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Directed and co-written by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), who will move on to helm The Batman, War for the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer and Terry Notary. The film arrives in theaters July 14.

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