Matt Reeves takes the stage to discuss the new film.
They will be showing three different scenes from the movie. Reeves dives into setting up the first clip. "What we're showing you we've only done once before," Reeves said "We're showing footage of the movie that's not done." It has only been done at New York Comic Con.
Some shots will be the actors prior to visual effects and some shots will be almost completely rendered shots.
"At the end of Dawn, Caesar's apes are at the precipous of war," Reeves said, before highlighting that Caesar was the one bridge between humans and apes. "Koba could not ever live alongside the humans and that started a war."
"At the end of the film, Caesar has restored order," Reeves said. "We know that a distress call has gone out to what's left of the US army.
"As War begins, we are two years into the fight," Reeves said. "The fight that began in the city has moved into the woods."
"As the film begins, they've been fighting brutally and the humans are looking for Caesar. He's become basically a legend...The human army starts making its way up the hill and they discover an ape trench which indicates they might be near finding Caesar."
The footage will show side by side shots of apes and the humans who played them.
Caesar marches with apes behind him BLue eyes. Alpa omega ape. Koba. Winter. Rocket. Bad Ape. Luca. Maurice.
Humans are heard breathing as they march through the woods in combat gear, each with different phrases on the back of their helmets, such as "Monkey killer," or "Endangered species." There are about 20-25 of them equipped with guns, knives, and other weapons.
Suddenly, they halt and take cover. They have spotted apes at the top of the hill riding on horseback. Some men take aim with rifles. Suddenly, an ape reaches out to one human's back, helping, directing his attention to an ape in a tree.
They track a flashing orange light. One man calls to the Colonel, thinking the ape base is near. A couple of apes offer supplies they have ben carrying. The humans take aim and target the ape with the gun first. A soldier uses a crossbow to fire at him before others use rocket launchers to take out a base. Apes are sent flying through the air. Gunfire ensues. An army of apes charges toward the humans. One ape rides off, quickly, with a spear in his hand.
The battle continues as the humans an apes exchange fire over explosions in the woods. The apes are falling as fire and smoke consumes their hideout. The ape who rode away ralles and army on horseback and they charge bck into the battle. It is clearly not finished being rendered at this point. Apes hang from the hideout and fire back but they're losing. Explosions are taking them down quickly. Some apes supply rockets to the humans but start to notice their struggling species. He's been branded next to his eye.
The branded ape and the human soldier beside him look up, with the human, as something falls from the sky. It lands, laying down a cover of smoke for the apes to fight back. An array arrows takes out most of the humans. One human manages to escape, narrowly, watching his fellow soldiers go down quickly.
He calls for the Colonel on his radio. The Colonel wants his position. Colonel puts him in command and stops answering. The man realizes he is not going to make it and apologizes. The Colonel orders him to kill as many as he can.
Later, the apes are seen regrouping as the camera journeys through the hideout from Caesar' perspective. They clear a path for him and show respect by raising their hand for him. They have caught a few soldiers. Caesar evaluates them, looking fierce, about to speak.
The next clip will take place in the snow.
"As the story escalates, Caesar goes on a mythic journey," Reeves said. "Caesar is trying to find a way to restore any sense of peace."
"At the beginning of the story, Caesar still has empathy for humans...The Colonel and his men respond with true cruelty."
"The story is not just a story between humans and apes. It's a war story between humans and apes...Things get so bad for the apes that Caesar decides he is going to go and find Woody [Harrelson's Colonel]."
"We took the equipment and pushed it to its limits," Reeves said. "The story and the world of the film is much bigger than we would have guessed."
"Woody, when you find out why he's doing the things he's doing, you find out he has justification for them," Reeves said.
Reeves introduces the new clip, saying it's four apes looking for the Colonel. It is the clip shown at New York Comic Con back in October.
Caesar and three other armed apes ride on horses into a village by the ocean. Caesar checks out a shed on his ow nas the others look around. They come across a man carrying a bundle of sticks who freezes at the sight of them. The man slowly puts down the sticks as not to startle the clearly angered apes but whips out a gun from his hip.
Caesar blasts the man with a shotgun. He shows little remorse. They check the man's body and see marking on it, suspecting him of being a deserter.
The apes bust into a house and search it. In a back room, they find a child. Caesar doesn't care about the kid but Maurice stays behind to comfort her as the others continue their search of the house. She tries to speak but can't which concerns Maurice.
As the apes leave, the child walks outside to see the dead man. Maurice points out that the girl struggles to speak but Caesar is quick to dismiss the thought of bringing her along. However, if they leave the little girl behind, Maurice will stay with her.
Caesar agrees to bring the girl, as seen in the next shots which show the apes riding their horses across a beach as the sun sets.
Reeves talks a bit before introducing the last clip. He explains why the motion capture suits feature both the character and actor names on them. It's for the cinematographers to make sure they're getting good footage.
Next up will be a clip featuring a new character: Bad Ape.
"They have this girl along with them and she represents that flicker of empathy that's still alive in him," Reeves said.
"In the scene that we're about to see, they've just lost the humans...They were following this humans that were left dead in the snow on the side of the road."
"They can't seem to find them and as that's happening there seems to be a deserter who's rummaging through their bags on the horses."
"They've gone to the Sierras, they're looking for the army, they've gotten lost," Reeves says before pointing out that the film is packed with action but the scenes they're showing today are what get him the most excited.
The little girl from the previous clip sits on a black horse as a mysterious jacketed figure creeps towards a white horse and starts digging through the bags hanging from its side. The ape drops something and fears it may have alerted the girl but it doesn't. He pulls a shotgun from the pack. An ape perched on a tower above them looks down and sees what's happening, so the others hop on their horses and give chase.
Caesar leads the way as the horses navigate snowy trees and hills in their pursuit. The ape fires back, hitting a tree which almost drops snow on Caesar. The pursuit leads them to the top of a ski lift. The white horse is there but the Bad Ape is gone.
Caesar's group looks inside the icy snow covered once-vacation destination, guns in hand. They see footprints leading to a dark cave type setup. Guns pointed inside, they approach. Caesar cocks his gun, as do the others, which prompts the Bad Ape to throw their gun and pack back to them before coming out with hits head down. "Bad Ape," he says. The others use sign language to ask him what he's doing there but he doesn't understand. None of the apes recognize him.
"Are you alone here?" Caesar asks.
Bad Ape nods to say, "Yes."
He offers his jacket to the cold little girl. It's an acceptable olive branch.
Later, over a campfire and under the cover of night, the apes talk to one another. Bad Ape reveals he has been there for a long time before showing a zoo souvenir from where he used to live, calling it home.
"Human get sick, ape get smart, then human kill ape but not me!" he says.
He learned to speak by listening to humans, which is why he thinks his name is, "Bad Ape."
He runs off again. The apes discuss the possibility of more apes being alive somewhere. Bad Ape brings them food. He is happy to have new friends. The bag of food comes from a California Border Facility. He found a "human zoo," he says. Humans killed humans there. "All get sick, all dead now," Bad Ape says. Caesar asks if the bad humans were soldiers. They were. The apes assume this is where the Colonel was going. Bad Ape does not want to go back despite Caesar's request. He is scared. He says there is snow and everyone needs rest so they have to stay here. He hands the little girl the name plate of a Nova car.
Bad Ape actor Steve Zahn takes the stage.
"When I started this I really thought it would be challenging for different reasons," Zahn said. "I was gonna have to adapt to this big mo-cap world. What I realized, and it was frigthening, was that the challenges were the same challenges I had doing experimental theater in Boston."
"That set was that set," he said. "That set was petrifying."
Reeves points out that the one time Zahn is actually in the movie is when he was approaching the horses to take the bags. The body in the jacket was Zahn.
"When I look at Bad Ape, I can only see Steve," Reeves said.
"The first version of the movie that you see is just the actors," Reeves said. "Then the shots tart coming in and we start judging the performances of the apes against the actors."
The process involves taking the expression from the actors faces and applying to the apes. WETA does this in post-production.
"What you haven't seen is this mythic journey takes Caesar in a battle of wills to meet Woody Harrelson," Reeves said. "There's so much that happens in terms of a revelation."
"It starts on this journey and then we kick off into them meeting."
It's time for the premiere of War of the Planet of the Apes' first trailer.
Apes ride down the beach, Caesar looking at the little girl. "I did not start this war," Caesar said. Humans climb through the jungle, firing at apes. "I offered you peace. I showed you mercy," Caesar said. Ape hideouts flash by. "But now you're here to finish us off for good." Apes fight humans who are trying to raid their lair. Woody Harrelson's Colonel opens fire before jumping down a waterfall. A massive army assembles before him at a military compound. "All of human history has lead to this moment. The irony is we created you," the Colonel says. Action flashes. Dead bodies are in the snow. Colonel has Caesar at gun point on his knees. Epic battles ensue. "This is our last stand and if we lose, it will be a planet of apes."
War for the Planet of the Apes hits thears July 14, 2017.