With sequels to popular blockbuster films often dominating the summer movie season, it can be an intimidating and daunting task to throw yourself into the mix if you haven't seen the films that have led to the latest installment. Luckily, in the case of War for the Planet of the Apes, you can get a quick breakdown of the events of the two films that led to the upcoming film, featured in the video above.
The upcoming film is the ninth in the overall franchise, which could make the idea of seeing this film without seeing eight others feel overwhelming. One benefit that the new film has is that it takes place before the original Charlton Heston-starring film, with only the two most recent films being necessary viewing.
In 2001, director Tim Burton attempted to revive the dormant sci-fi franchise, hoping to put his talents of imaginative set pieces and makeup effects to the test. Unfortunately, the film never quite found the right tonal balance to connect with audiences, while also adding in an arbitrary and confusing "twist" ending in honor of the original film's surprising finale, seemingly sealing the fate of the franchise.
Luckily, 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes completely ditched the "actors in makeup" concept and used the advances in motion-capture technology to bring to life the story of Caesar, a chimpanzee who was exposed to a drug that aimed to cure Alzheimer's. When Caesar saw the true nature of humans, he used the drugs on other apes in order to free themselves from being science experiments and headed to the redwood forests of northern California.
Following the "Simian Flu" wiping out large chunks of the human population, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes displayed humanity attempting to revive itself with the only obstacle being a community of apes. With distrust growing within both human and ape societies, the two species' contempt towards one another causes a massive revolt, resulting in bloodshed.
The latest film's synopsis is as follows:
"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."
War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on July 14.
War for the Planet of the Apes is directed by Matt Reeves, who will go on to direct The Batman after the project. The 20th Century Fox film Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer & Terry Notary, with Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver serving as producers. Reeves teamed with Mark Womback to write the movie.