July 18, 2017

Cinema Rant: Sequel to War for the Planet of the Apes?

"Cinema Rant" is a dedicated article to discuss the problems with Hollywood. War for the Planet of the Apes released over the weekend to rave reviews and commercial success. Should there be a sequel to this film?


You can read our spoiler free review here.

War for the Planet of the Apes ends in the death of the trilogy's Jesus-like protagonist Caesar, with the rest of the apes finding a new home out of California. Fortunately for Caesar, his youngest son, Cornelius, is still alive and may be able to lead the apes in the decades to come. The Simian virus, which was responsible for most of humanity's destruction in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has evolved to make humans incapable of speech. There are also signs that more apes may be wandering around the planet. This all sounds like a perfect set up for another sequel, or even another trilogy in the franchise.

The Planet of the Apes reboot series has been one of the more sophisticated trilogies to come out of Hollywood, but Apes may come under the same scrutiny all franchises have when deciding to move forward with a fourth film, and possible second trilogy.

Courtesy 20th Century Fox
It has already been assumed that a fourth film will be developed. This isn't always a good thing, especially if the studio decides to take charge of most of the ideas and leave filmmakers struggling to create a visionary franchise. Other than studio oversight, franchise fatigue can set in. So far the Planet of the Apes franchise has been able to dodge that fate, but sooner than later it will come.

All these negatives come from outside the story. The studio, the audience, box office revenue, and the critical reviews are all impacted by the story being told. So what will that story possibly look like?

Courtesy 20th Century Fox
In my opinion Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was the better film in the series. The film dealt with the issues of society development and species dominance. Rise was a look at animal cruelty and intelligence, while War focuses on Caesar's personal story. Now that Caesar is out of the picture, more apes may have societies elsewhere, and Cornelius is growing up, it seems the franchise can focus more on societal development. War left a lot of open questions about the remaining human race and the future of the Caesar-led apes. Where exactly are they at the end of War? Are there more humans somewhere? Are there other ape societies? Looking like the majority of human problems will be out of the picture for awhile, the franchise can focus on inner-circle problems.

Cornelius looks to be the main character in the upcoming films. Following in his father's footsteps as savior of the ape race will be a lot to live up to. Mix in other ape-led colonies battling for world dominance and Cornelius has a tough road ahead when his father's credence was "Ape not kill Ape." Humans may also become a factor in Cornelius's own "humanity," if other ape-colonies are using humans for barbaric purposes.

Courtesy 20th Century Fox
I am not a huge fan of moving a series into a second trilogy, but The Planet of the Apes franchise has been consistent at providing intricate storytelling with complex characters and gorgeous visual effects. As long as they provide a great story, I'll be at the theaters for another round.

War for the Planet of the Apes is currently out in theaters.


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