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‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Super Bowl trailer reactions: Apes Rule!

It’s been nearly seven years since one of the most acclaimed mainstream trilogies in recent memory came to an end. The new Planet of the Apes trilogy that began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011, continued with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014, and finished up with War for the Planet of the Apes in 2017, overcame considerable odds (early bad buzz and an earlier Tim Burton disappointment) to revive a long-dormant series. Now it’s expanding further into the future, and beyond the boundaries of a trilogy, with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which just had its newest trailer premiere during the Super Bowl in advance of its May 10, 2024 release date.

The humans have never been the main attraction in this series, whether in the original five-film cycle from the 1960s and ’70s or in the newer films, where Andy Serkis motion-capped the most memorable performance as ape leader Caesar. Kingdom appears to double down on this tragedy, with what looks like a mostly-ape (which is to say, mostly-CG) cast. Generations after Caesar won ape independence, advanced apes are now the dominant species on Earth, though Noa (Owen Teague via motion-capture) realizes that the ruling class has not told them “everything” about that now-dead world. He appears to go rogue, teaming up with a hunted human woman (Freya Allan) on some kind of mission.

Here’s where it gets tricky, and interesting: Some sources refer to Allan’s character as “Nova.” This was also the name of a character in War for the Planet of the Apes – a mute little girl who joins the apes as they attain freedom, who should be long-dead by the time of the generations-later Kingdom, when Caesar’s work is a distant memory. “Nova” was also the name of the feral human woman Charlton Heston meets (and, uh, romances) in the original Planet of the Apes. Is there a connection there, an homage, or just a widely repeated misprint?

In any event, new Apes director Wes Ball seems to be in his element with a lot of chasing and scrambling that recalls his later Maze Runner movies, and the scale of the movie looks impressive. In fact, in terms of a movie that looks done and ready to go, I’m with this social-media stranger:

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters May 10, 2024, so you still have plenty of time to marathon the nine previous movies.  

Scroll up to watch the trailer.

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