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'War for the Planet of the Apes' Comic Con: How the reboot series succeeded

Hollywood loves its reboots recently, but some haven't succeeded. The 'Apes' series, by contrast, has become a box office success, and 2014's 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' was particularly well-received by critics.

'War for the Planet of the Apes' trailer

Comic Con in New York recently included a sneak peek at the upcoming movie “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the third film in a movie series that is based on the classic science fiction movie “Planet of the Apes” and may be a success story in the age of Hollywood reboots. 

The film, which will be released next summer, features the return of Andy Serkis as the ape Caesar, who performs as the character using motion capture technology.

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“War” also stars Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, and Steve Zahn. (See trailer above.)

The movie’s director, Matt Reeves, said at the Comic Con presentation that Mr. Serkis “deserves an Academy Award.” 

Serkis also starred as the creature Gollum in the acclaimed “Lord of the Rings” fantasy trilogy, as King Kong in the 2005 remake of the same name, and in last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as Supreme Leader Snoke, using motion capture technology for all those films. 

Moviegoers saw his face onscreen in the 2015 movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” 

The “Apes” series is a prequel to the classic science fiction film “Planet of the Apes,” showing how apes took over Earth. 

While new riffs on old stories are incredibly popular in Hollywood, moviegoers may be staying away if they don’t see a reason to see the movies in theaters: recent films like a remake of “Ghostbusters” and “Tarzan,” as well as a new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie and an “Alice in Wonderland” sequel, all struggled this summer.

Yet the “Apes” series has been doing well. 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” became one of the hits of the summer, as did the first film in the rebooted series, the 2011 movie “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” “Dawn” grossed even more domestically than “Rise,” seeming to indicate an increasing appetite for the movies.

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Critics were intrigued particularly by “Dawn.” Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave “Dawn” a B+, writing that the film is “a thinking person’s fantasy film … What’s striking about this new film is that it lays out the message-mongering in such a way that you can enjoy the movie equally well on a purely action level. Andy Serkis, who plays the worldly-wise Caesar, is extraordinary, as always; so is Toby Kebbell as Koba, Caesar’s human-hating rival.”