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First Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes trailer shows how the Apes actually make the planet theirs

Let the great monkey fight begin.

Production still from Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Image credit: 20th Century Studios

If you thought Hollywood was done milking the Planet of the Apes franchise for all it was worth, you clearly don’t know studio executives. A new trailer for the cumbersomely titled Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has been released and it doesn’t offer much aside from some sweeping shots of our monkey overlords and a grim version of humanity’s future.

Set several generations after Ceasar’s uprising in the 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes shows a world where talking apes are now the dominant species on Earth. Humanity has been reduced to small tribes hiding in the shadows, hunted by their ape oppressors. The trailer hints at a relationship between a chimpanzee named Cornelius and a human played by The Witcher’s Freya Allan, though the focus seems to be on the conflict between ape clans.

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Aside from some stiff facial movements from the talking apes, the trailer looks pretty enough and that’s probably all we’re supposed to take away from it at this stage. In fact, real effort seems to have gone into trying to hide the ape's faces when they speak, suggesting they are still touching up those animations. This feels like a franchise trying to coast on the strength of its predecessors, hoping that a visual spectacle will be enough to drag us back to the cinema for the fourth movie in this reboot series. There is a real danger here that the film will culminate in a purely CGI monkey battle that will be incomprehensible to the viewer now that the focus has shifted to a post-human world.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is due to be released 24 May, 2024.

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