If I were to tell you I expected to find myself tearing up during a Planet of the Apes movie, I would be lying. But here we are. Several times during director Matt Reeves’ spectacular War for the Planet of the Apes I found myself overcome with emotion and a deep-seated empathy for Caesar and his tribe of hyper-intelligent apes as they were assaulted, beaten down, enslaved, and met with hardship at nearly every turn.
What began as an unexpectedly good reboot in 2011 has culminated in an unexpectedly great trilogy, capped by War for the Planet of the Apes. With dazzling special effects, effective storytelling, and dynamic performances—many of them wordless and shockingly effective—War for the Planet of the Apes may well be the best blockbuster you’ll see all summer.
While in London, I sat down with stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Amiah Miller, and Steve Zahn, as well as director Matt Reeves to speak with them about the film’s powerful message regarding empathy, how it subverts our expectations about war, and the grueling emotional journey on which Caesar must embark in this third—and possibly final—film.
War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on July 14, 2017. Read our review right here.
Will you be seeing War for the Planet of the Apes? What are your favorite of the original Apes movies? Let us know in the comments below.
Image: 20th Century Fox
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).