While promoting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), Andy Serkis was asked if the AlZ-113 drug had also affected apes outside of Caesar's tribe. Director Matt Reeves and co-writer Mark Bomback took note of this, which led to the introduction of "Bad Ape" in this film.
In October 2016, it was announced that a fourth Planet of the Apes film was already being planned.
According to director Matt Reeves, the name of the group of rebelling humans are the Alpha and Omega, a reference to the bomb the mutants worshiped in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). The logo on their helmets and flag matches the original logo on the bomb.
The little girl named Nova is named after the character played by Linda Harrison in the first and second films in the original franchise.
The giant "X"s that the humans use to tie up the apes outside their camp are the same design as the "X"s used as markers to The Forbidden Zone in the original Planet of the Apes (1968).
According to director Matt Reeves, the apes that serve the humans are called "Donkeys," both as a reference to Donkey Kong and, like donkeys, they are used as pack animals.
In the first film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Caesar could only utter a few words, most notably, "No!" In the second film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), his vocabulary had increased greatly and he was able to speak in nearly full sentences with syntax and grammar, but still with a rough tone and cadence to his voice. In this film, he is able to speak nearly identical to what a human can produce, indicating his growth into personhood.
According to director Matt Reeves, it was Woody Harrelson's idea to begin addressing Caesar by ticking off the military rivals of the past, "Wellington and Napoleon, Grant and Lee, Custer and Sitting Bull," while noting that as an ape Caesar would not know what he was talking about.
Speaking with MTV, Andy Serkis, was asked about the setting for the upcoming third film and revealed that the third film may not be the conclusion to the franchise. He stated, "It's very, very early in where we choose to drop anchor in the next film. It could be five years after the event, it could be the night after the events of where we left 'Dawn,' so it's very difficult to know where the story is going right at this moment because it's being written as we speak. I know that part of the desire for Matt Reeves to do this next movie is about continuing the enjoyment of seeing these apes evolve. So I don't think we're going to see a situation where we're jumping... It might be three films; it could be four. It could be five. Who knows? But the journey will continue. It might not necessarily be summarized or completely fulfilled in this next one. The point being, eventually we know that we're going to end up back at 'The Planet of the Apes,' but whether it's this film or not, I don't know."
Ape actors Andy Serkis (Caesar) and Terry Notary (Rocket) have also both played King Kong, with Serkis in Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) and Notary in Kong: Skull Island (2017).
Graffiti reading "APE-OCALYPSE NOW" can be seen. This is because the Colonel in this film is reminiscent of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979).
Steve Zahn admitted in a Film4 interview that he cried after seeing the completed film for the first time as he was so moved by it.
The character Nova is an allusion to Nova in the original Planet of the Apes (1968). Both incarnations of Nova are mute, and are given the name Nova by their protectors.
Caesar's son shares his name with the Roddy McDowall character, Cornelius, in the original film. Ironically, in the original film series Caesar is the son of Cornelius, eventually naming his own son Cornelius after his father.
Before beginning work on the project, Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback decided to get inspiration by watching "a million movies," according to Reeves. Among the films they asked to see at the Fox screening room were: westerns, war movies, Biblical epics, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and all of the previous "Planet of the Apes" films.
Human soldier slogans as seen on the poster include the quote, "The only good ape is a dead ape," which is a reference to the gorilla General Ursus' popular quote from Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), albeit the tables have turned.
Serkis mentioned that the film will be accompanied by a video game, for which he had performed motion capture.
The Orangutan played by Karin Konoval is named Maurice. In Planet of the Apes (1968), the Orangutan, Dr. Zaius, is played by actor Maurice Evans.
This is the second movie in the Apes franchise where one of the characters mentions the name of the franchise, in this case being the Colonel as he calls it, "A planet of apes." The first time was in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) when Caesar, the son of Cornelius and Zira, gives a monologue of the Apes success towards the end of the film.
Director Matt Reeves is only the second person to return to direct a Planet of the Apes film (the first being J. Lee Thompson, who directed Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)).
Devyn Dalton, who played Cornelia in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), returns to the Apes franchise to play Caesar's younger son, Cornelius, in this film.
Ty Olsson played the man who shot and killed Buck the gorilla in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and returned to play a gorilla (Red/Donkey) in this film.
Koba was the nickname of Joseph Stalin, after an outlaw character from a populair nineteenth-century Georgian novel.
The name of the group Alpha Omega and their motto "We Are the Beginning and the End" refers to the Greek alphabet where the letter Alpha is the first one in the series and the letter Omega is the last one. Furthermore, there is a Greek expression roughly translated as "The alpha and the omega of everything" meaning that if something stands between the beginning (alpha) and the end (omega) then it includes everything.
The yellow beret flash Woody Harrelson's character The Colonel wears is the 1st Special Forces Group (Green Berets), who's home station is Fort Lewis, Washington.
This is the second film that Matt Reeves directed in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, the first being Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).
This is the fifth time Steve Zahn had played a talking animal. Zahn previously played Monty the cat in the Stuart Little films, Archie the bear in Dr Dolittle 2, Sandy Pig in Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a baby, and Thunderclap a nyctosaurus in The Good Dinosaur. In this film he plays a chimpanzee named Bad Ape.
The unit insignias seen on the soldiers were from 2nd infantry division and 17th fires brigade both are units at JBLM (joint base Lewis McCord). A truck also had JBLM written on the roof.
As soldiers plan to attack Caesar's wooded base, note 4 different phrases you see on their helmets: 1) "Monkey Killer" 2) "Bedtime For Bonzo" 3) Endangered Species and 4) "The only good ape is a dead one."
Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson both appear in Star Wars films. Serkis plays Supreme Leader Snoke in the sequel trilogy, and Harrelson plays Beckett in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).
Many viewers mistook Lake as Cornelia before the release of latest trailer, which showed Cornelia and Blue Eyes are dead.
Amiah Miller (Nova) formed a close bond with Karin Konoval (Maurice) while the film was in principle photography.
Colonel McCullough was the secondary antagonist of the Revelations novel and the main antagonist of both the War comic books and War for the Planet of the Apes.
It was Red the gorilla who started the rebellion of Koba's followers against Caesar in the prequel novel Revelations.
Cornelius is also the first Chimpanzee sibling to appear in either of the two film franchises.
Matt Reeves also pointed out that the apes in Rise and Dawn don't wear clothing, but the end point of the future ape society seen in the original Planet of the Apes movie does wear clothing, and Bad Ape is also supposed to be the start of a progression in this direction; to survive in a harsh winter he's the first ape we see who shifted to wearing heavy winter coats he scavenged.
In the novelization, many of the lines of other apes from the movie are given to Percy the orangutan At the council meeting, Percy asks Blue Eyes what is beyond the mountains. In the movie, Cornelia is the one who asked Blue-Eyes this. At the Alpha-Omega base, Percy tells Caesar to forgive the other apes for shunning them as they have been through much. In the movie, Lake is the one who told Caesar this.
Initially the orangutan is credited as "Ape Elder" in the movie, his name was officially revealed as "Percy" in the War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization.
Director Matt Reeves explained that introducing Bad Ape was meant to start widening the fictional world for future sequels,by establishing that there are other apes across the world beyond Caesar's colony who were mentally uplifted by the Simian Flu he added: "Bad Ape is really...he's critical to this story but he's actually a seed thats planted that sort of says that...that's a widening up of the world.its not just Caesar's apes,there are other apes elsewhere-and those apes haven't had the benefit of Caesar's leadership,and so who knows what they're like,and they certainly wouldn't necessarily have the level of empathy and integrity that he's tried to instill in his family of apes, so future conflicts might not just be human and ape."
Behind the scenes look reveal Terry Notary as a stunt double for Alessandro Juliani (Spear).
When Caesar,Luca,and Winter walk inside the trench to confront the soldiers,one of Caesar's apes-Spear is seen wearing a tooth earring of an unknown animal and has a small sharp bone on his nose,just like Blue Eyes wife Lake.
One of the apes in Caesar's colony-Spear has a spear with a white fur of some kind of animal tied to the tip,with the tip itself covered in dried blood.
A total of nine chimpanzees and two gorillas have served the Colonel as donkeys *at least one chimpanzee and one gorilla-Winter joined the Colonel out of fear for their lives and not because of their loyalty to Koba.
Nova (Amiah Miller) serves as a younger counterpart to the original Nova in the first two films,though their eras of existence are separated by almost 2,000 years. Nova is also mute just like the original Nova was.
In Revelations, Luca tells Winter he is third-in-command of Caesar's Army,implying he got the rank temporarily after Rocket left with Blue Eyes.
When Blue Eyes and Rocket come back from the village, Lake runs to Blue Eyes and hug. While they hug you can see that Lake has long hair, earrings of some kind and has a necklace with some kind of animal tooth.
After seeing his cut of Dawn of the planet of the apes (2014), 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment signed Matt Reeves to return as director for a third installment of the reboot series.
Toby Kebbell (Koba) had expressed interest in reprising his role or performing as other characters. Plans to include Koba in a larger role in the film were abandoned early,with Mark Bomback saying "if you stayed until the very end of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes you hear Kobas breathing. We did that to give us a tiny crack of possibility that we could revive Koba if we wanted to. Very early on in spitballing we realized there was nothing more to do with Koba-certainly nothing that would exceed what he had done in the last story. But we knew we wanted to keep him alive as an idea. In playing out the reality of what happened at the end of the last film, Caesar would be traumatized by having to kill his brother.that would have resonance,and we wanted to make sure that didn't get lost..so the answer was that we could go inside Caesar's mind at this point and revisit Koba that way".
In an interview director Matt Reeves talked about the inevitable war Caesar would have with the humans "As this story continues, we know that war is not avoided by the end of Dawn, that is going to take us into the world of what he's grappling with. What he's going to be thrust into circumstances that he never ever wanted to deal with, and was hoping he could avoid. And now he's right in the middle of it.The things that happened in that story test him in huge ways, in the ways in which his relationship with Koba haunts him deeply. it's going to be an epic story. I think you've probably read that I sort of described it where in the first film was very much about his rise from humble beginnings to being a revolutionary. The second movie was about having to rise to the challenge of being a great leader in the most difficult of times, this is going to be the story that is going to cement his status as a seminal figure in ape history and sort of leads to an almost biblical status. He is going to become like a mythic ape figure like Moses".
When director Matt Reeves and screenwriter Mark Bomback came on board to helm Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), the film already had a release date, which led to an accelerated production schedule. However, with the third installment, Fox wanted to give the duo plenty of time to write and make the film. Taking advantage of this, the two bonded with each other more than before.
In an interview in November 2014 with MTV Andy Serkis said they did not know the next films setting "It could be 5 years after the event. It could be the night after the events of where we left 'Dawn".
In May 2015, the title was first given as War of the Planet of the Apes. By October 2015, it had been retitled as War for the Planet of the Apes.
Winter's name and albinism may be based on Snowflake, an albino gorilla who was kept at Barcelona Zoo in Spain from 1966 until his death in 2003.
At age 24, Luca was the third oldest of the apes (sharing this with Maurice) being two years younger than Koba who was the second oldest and Buck who was the oldest.
The ape Spear ear and nasal piercing and white paint are a reference to African tribal warriors.
This is the first iteration of the Planet of the Apes film franchise to have an albino ape-Winter.
Additionally, during production, Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback sought broader inspirations from films like Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and The Great Escape (1963). feeling that there was a need to imbue biblical themes and elements they also watched biblical epics like Ben-Hur (1959) and the Ten Commandments (1956). the influence and inspiration were made evident in the relationship between Caesar and the Colonel a military leader with pretensions toward godhood. Reeves has compare the relationship to the dynamic between Alec Guinness British commander and Sessue Hayakawas prison camp in Bridge on the River Kwai another comparison is Caesar's journey to find the Colonel flanked by a posse of close friends a situation Reeves explicitly tied to Clint Eastwood's war-weary soldier in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) . Influences from the film Apocalypse Now (1979) notably the Colonel and his Alpha Omega fraction being similar to Colonel Kurtz's renegade army, were also noted by several journalists. Woody Harrelson has also acknowledged the similarities and inspiration.
Unlike the other gorillas from the Ape Colony, Red has red colored fur from his head extending to his shoulders and upper back. This may be the reason why he is named Red.
Although the character's name is officially "Bad Ape", this not technically his name. "Bad Ape" is just the derogatory name that the humans gave him repeatedly thus over time he mistakenly began to believe that his name was actually indeed "Bad Ape".
Preacher (Gabriel Chavarria) is inadvertently the cause of Caesar's death; despite this,killing Caesar was ultimately in vain,as Caesar assures Maurice that apes are strong with or without him,before he succumbs to his wounds.