‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Featurette Showcases the Balance of Performance and VFX

Image credit: 20th Century Fox

A behind-the-scenes featurette has been released for War for the Planet of the Apes, placing the spotlight on the key elements behind the film’s expressive apes.

“You’re not just standing in for the role until the magic’s done later on,” says motion capture extraordinaire Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Kong in Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and of course Caesar in this Planet of the Apes franchise. “You’re not just representing the character. You are the character for real.”

Indeed, a big part of what has made both Rise and Dawn such strong blockbusters is the balance of performance and technology being used to create these apes. The emotions aren’t crafted on a computer; they’re emitted by the standout actors and actresses on set, which in turn is translated by the jaw-dropping work by New Zealand visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital.

All signs are pointing to a dramatic, powerful third film with War for the Planet of the Apes. The film, which finds Dawn director Matt Reeves back at the helm, will open in U.S. cinemas on July 14 and arrives Down Under on July 27.

Synopsis for War for the Planet of the Apes:

Caesar and his band of Simian brothers discover an unknown, newly evolved ape named “Bad Ape” (Steve Zahn) – an escapee from a zoo. For the first time in the trilogy, Caesar and his apes discover a new ape outside of their tribe, marking a critical moment in the war between Humans and Apes.

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.

Image credit: 20th Century Fox
Image credit: 20th Century Fox