None of his men dared tell Woody Harrelson that he had misunderstood the concept of guerrilla warfare.


None of his men dared tell Woody Harrelson that he had misunderstood the concept of guerrilla warfare.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. OFFICE

JASON CLARKE walks into the office of DIRECTOR MATT REEVES.

JASON CLARKE

Matt! How's it going? Listen, I don't mean to impinge on your creative process, but I have some ideas for my character in the next Planet of the Apes movie.

DIRECTOR MATT REEVES

Jason, hi. Why don't you take a seat?

JASON CLARKE

(notices poster)

Oh hey, WAR for the Planet of the Apes is going to be the title? Kick-ass! Enough with that completely interchangeable Rise and Dawn crap, let's get down to business! So, my character. I'm thinking my wide-eyed idealism from the last movie could be challenged by the atrocities of this war? You know, the duality of man or some shit.

DIRECTOR MATT REEVES

That is a great idea! Unfortunately, we're already doing that for Caesar.

JASON CLARKE

Oh okay. The duality of ape then.

(awkward silence)

Uhmm, I had a few other ideas that we could --

DIRECTOR MATT REEVES

Let me stop you right there, Jason. I'm sorry, but you're not coming back.

JASON CLARKE

What? Look, just because I was in one movie that killed a franchise, that doesn't --

DIRECTOR MATT REEVES

This isn't about Terminator Genisys, we've just decided to rotate the human cast for each of these movies. You could say the apes have already won, heh heh.

JASON CLARKE

(sighs)

Okay fine. So what happened to my character between movies? Do I at least get a reference?

DIRECTOR MATT REEVES

Oh sure! Not in the movie itself, but if I get the chance, I'll mention your death as an aside in an interview or something.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOODS - CALIFORNIA I GUESS

A SQUAD OF SOLDIERS is stalking a PACK OF APES through a DENSE FOREST. One of the SOLDIERS is GABRIEL CHAVARRIA, who speaks to his SUPERIOR, ROGER CROSS.

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

Sir, why am I the only one equipped with a crossbow? Isn't that a little archaic?

ROGER CROSS

We're a bunch of interchangeable faceless soldiers, so at least one of us needs a distinguishing characteristic. Now take aim at that ape on the barricade up there and we'll mop up the rest.

They engage the APES and are suddenly met by a BARRAGE OF SPEARS AND ARROWS that wipes out the ENTIRE SQUAD save for GABRIEL.

ROGER CROSS

Fuck, I thought being black was my characteristic, but I'm just as much cannon fodder as the others.

(dies)

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

Why didn't we all carry crossbows? Arrows are clearly more effective!

GABRIEL is captured and brought before CAESAR.

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

It's you! Our colonel told us about you! Wait, what is that bum fluff on your chin?

CAESAR

Shut up, it's a beard of sorrow. I'm going through some shit, okay?

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

You'll never win! More and more apes are joining our side! Like this gorilla with red fur we had escorting us.

RED

Eeehm, we're actually scared of what Caesar'll do to us because we followed Koba in the last movie, so it's more of a lesser evil thing.

CAESAR

You seriously have a red gorilla named Red? Scoff! Just shows how narrow-minded you are that you have to distinguish us by colour! Winter, get Red out of here.

WINTER, who is an ALBINO GORILLA, walks up.

CAESAR

Uhh, we call him Winter because -- because he's got a cold demeanour. Yes.

WINTER

I'm on it and whoops I let him get away my bad.

CAESAR

Okay, so you're an albino AND a complete moron. I'll be able to pick you out twice as fast now.

CAESAR puts GABRIEL on one of the INFINITELY AVAILABLE HORSES.

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

You're just letting me go? Are you hoping your mercy will drive me to switch to your side at a critical moment?

CAESAR

(pinches the bridge of his nose)

Look, I'm running out of ways to tell you this, but we do not want this fucking war! Tell your colonel to leave us in peace.

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

You mean the colonel who was established as wanting to kill all apes in the first five minutes? Yeah, I'm sure he'll listen to reason.

EXT. APE VILLAGE - CALIFORNIA

CAESAR returns to his HIDDEN VILLAGE, which is located BEHIND A WATERFALL. Outside, all the APES are HOLLERING.

CAESAR

Guys, could you maybe whoop a little louder? I don't think they heard you over in Montana. This is supposed to be a hidden sanctuary!

WINTER

But it's Blue Eyes and Rocket they've returned from whatever journey they were on!

CAESAR

Ah, my son and my trusted confidant. Wait, which is which?

BLUE EYES

Daa-haad! I had to get fucking mauled by a bear just to get these identifying scars across my chest! And Rocket has that permanent underbite scowl?

ROCKET

I was also in the other two movies, if that helps.

CAESAR

Oh right, we don't do the whole colour-coordination deal. What have you two found?

BLUE EYES

We discovered an oasis where we'll be safe from the humans, but we have to cross a huge desert to get there.

CAESAR

I see. Fine, I'm already imbued with a ton of Jesus Christ symbolism, might as well take on a bit of Moses on top of that.

WINTER

Aaaah we should go immediately the humans will surely find us soon aaaah!

CAESAR

Chill the fuck out, Winter. Let's stay here one more night and then head out tomorrow morning.

Just so you know, this was all APE DIALOGUE, so it came out as A LOT OF PANTING AND GRUNTING with a side order of SIGN LANGUAGE.

INT. APE VILLAGE - CALIFORNIA

That night, CAESAR is roused by a couple of SOLDIERS rappelling down the WATERFALL.

CAESAR

Crap, the humans have found us! Blue Eyes, protect your mother while I scout around!

BLUE EYES

She's the one with beads in her hair, right?

CAESAR

Yep! When all else fails, use gender stereotypes.

After tackling a few SOLDIERS, CAESAR RUSHES BACK to the WATERFALL, where he spots THE COLONEL, who is played by WOODY HARRELSON.

WOODY HARRELSON

Oh hi. This is awkward. Hey, what's that behind you?

CAESAR

Psh, like I'm going to fall for that one!

WOODY HARRELSON

No seriously, take a look!

CAESAR slowly turns around and is inexplicably NOT SHOT IN THE BACK. Instead, he sees the BODIES of BLUE EYES and HIS MOTHER WHO ALSO HAD A NAME.

CAESAR

You killed my family! Two movies' worth of character development and now I have to throw it all out the window for a boring and trite revenge quest! FUCK YOOOUUU!

They briefly STRUGGLE, but WOODY manages to GET AWAY. CAESAR collects himself and confers with MAURICE, that ORANGUTAN who looks like PAUL GIAMATTI.

CAESAR

Maurice, I'm choosing you to Moses the apes over to that oasis while I --

(sighs)

while I go exact sullen revenge.

MAURICE

No, I must come with you to act as your moral touchstone.

CAESAR

Fine. Uhh, Luca! You're that fearsome gorilla that died in the first movie but showed up again in the second, right? How about you lead --

LUCA

I know where Woody Harrelson is.

CAESAR

Goddamnit! Rocket, then I charge you with the safekeeping of --

ROCKET

But I lost a son too! At least, I think I did? I'm joining you as well so I can have my revenge quest vicariously through you.

CAESAR

But with Blue Eyes dead, you're the only one who knows where this oasis is! Oh well, what could be the harm in leaving my tribe without a leader figure to rally around? I'm sure they'll find their way. Mount up!

EXT. HUMAN SETTLEMENT - CALIFORNIA

After they exit the WOODS, CAESAR, MAURICE, LUCA, and ROCKET happen upon a DILAPIDATED SETTLEMENT, where they encounter a SINGLE SOLDIER.

SOLDIER

Hello. I'm just gathering wood, I'm not looking for a fight.

CAESAR

Yeah well, the first stage after losing one's family is acting as cold and ruthless as possible, so eat this, dipshit.

CAESAR BLOWS THE SOLDIER AWAY with a SHOTGUN.

SOLDIER

Hah! I was going for my gun, so your ruthlessness is justified! Ner ner!

(dies)

Inside one of the HUTS, MAURICE finds AMIAH MILLER.

MAURICE

Caesar, that man had a daughter! What's your name, sweetheart?

AMIAH MILLER

...

MAURICE

You can't talk? Good thing you went to the Dakota Fanning school of eye emoting.

AMIAH MILLER

...

MAURICE

Speak up if you don't want to come with us, since we did just kill your dad and all.

AMIAH MILLER

!!!

MAURICE

Great! Come along then.

EXT. MILITARY CAMP - CALIFORNIA

Now accompanied by AMIAH, the GROUP presses on and locates a MILITARY CAMP, where they find WINTER helping out the SOLDIERS.

CAESAR

Winter! You betrayed us!

WINTER

Eeep okay yes I did tell Woody where to find the ape village after Red told me there's more soldiers coming to wipe you out I'm a coward please go easy on me?

CAESAR

I'm still supposed to act ruthless because of my dead family but I feel a hint of ruth creeping back in, so I'll just kill you "accidentally."

CAESAR "ACCIDENTALLY" SMOTHERS WINTER to stop him from alerting the SOLDIERS.

CAESAR

"Whoops."

EXT. ABANDONED MUSEUM OR WHATEVER - CALIFORNIA

While attempting to spot more SOLDIERS, CAESAR'S BAND OF MERRY APES (PLUS ONE HUMAN) is nearly ROBBED by a MYSTERIOUS HOODED FIGURE. It turns out to be another SMART CHIMPANZEE who calls himself BAD APE.

BAD APE

Yup, you aren't the only apes who gained the power of speech! Just don't get me excited, because it makes me sound like Tina Belcher freaking out.

CAESAR

Where did you come from?

BAD APE

I escaped from a nearby fortified quarantine facility which has been taken over by a savage colonel and his men.

LUCA

Oh great, my one plot purpose gets taken over by the comic relief here.

BAD APE

Comic relief? I'm not the comic relief!

(falls over, laugh track plays)

I'm not.

CAESAR

Can you take us there? I'm going after that colonel because he killed my son.

MAURICE

(under his breath)

And wife.

BAD APE

I too lost a child, so I will lead you there.

ROCKET

Hey, that was my reason for joining Caesar!

MAURICE

If you start being his moral compass as well, maybe we can all pack up and leave this quest to the two of you.

CAESAR

I think I'll take that one step further and angrily decide to find my own way in. This is my fight!

As soon as CAESAR goes it ALONE, he realises his TRIBE has been CAPTURED and IMPRISONED. Then he is CAPTURED TOO. Oh, and LUCA is KILLED by a BAYONET PINPRICK.

CAESAR

That went well I think.

INT. QUARANTINE FACILITY - CALIFORNIA

After witnessing WOODY HARRELSON'S BIZARRE MORNING ROUTINE, where he SHAVES HIS SCALP while the NATIONAL ANTHEM plays and his MEN SCREAM AT HIM, CAESAR is brought to his OFFICE.

WOODY HARRELSON

So once again we meet at last!

CAESAR

I gotta say, you're laying it all on a bit thick.

WOODY HARRELSON

Yeah, I agree that the Apocalypse Now themes and allusions aren't exactly subtle.

CAESAR

That too, but I'm referring to the screaming drills, the whole concentration camp deal, the slave master-like cruelty against what you perceive as an inferior race. There is a long history of racial slurs that liken black people to apes, but you can only literalise so much of that imagery before it becomes a blatant white power fantasy.

WOODY HARRELSON

In case you forgot, these prequels are leading us into the future of the first Planet of the Apes film, which showed humans as the ones being brutally oppressed! Maybe I'm just getting a few licks in while I still can?

CAESAR

Believe me, I didn't forget. God forbid five minutes go by without an in-joke or a reference to the original canon.

WOODY HARRELSON

Now, I've set your ape tribe to work on building a wall to defend against my enemies. You can make up your own Trump joke about that.

CAESAR

Right, because we apes are so terrible at climbing things.

WOODY HARRELSON

Not against you! There's an army unit to the north that disagrees with my methods. You see, I've been killing every single human infected with the simian flu ever since it mutated to revert those it doesn't kill to a primitive state.

CAESAR

Oooh, so that's what happened to Amiah! Primitive might be pushing it, though. She did lose her voice, but she still seems to possess all her other faculties. Maybe you're jumping the extremist gun a little on that?

WOODY HARRELSON

Nope, mute means feral ape in my book! I even killed my own son when he got infected, that's how much of a tragic hardass I am. See? Once again you have a mirror character on the human side, since we're both bound to boring revenge plots.

CAESAR

Before you executed your son, did you ask him if he had any last words?

WOODY HARRELSON

Fuck you, man.

WOODY puts CAESAR in with the rest of the APES and forces him to reenact THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.

EXT. QUARANTINE FACILITY - CALIFORNIA

MAURICE and ROCKET are conferring with BAD APE while AMIAH MILLER sort of HOVERS IN THE BACKGROUND.

MAURICE

We need get in there so we can rescue Caesar. Bad Ape, why don't you put some of that comic relief to good use and stumblefuck your way into finding us an entrance?

BAD APE

For the last time, I'm not the comic relief!

He storms off and ends up FALLING INTO A TUNNEL THAT LEADS INTO THE BASE.

BAD APE

FUCKING DERP!

Before they can get their bearings, AMIAH has advanced into the TUNNEL and emerges in the FACILITY'S COURTYARD, where she walks up to CAESAR'S CELL.

AMIAH MILLER

...

CAESAR

Oh hey! I see we've inadvertently taught you well, since you've used our innate stealth skills to get here unnoticed.

AMIAH MILLER

...

CAESAR

Or maybe it's just that nobody cares. The searchlights have caught you three times while we were talking and nothing happened.

AMIAH hands CAESAR some WATER and her RAGDOLL as a TOKEN OF SUPPORT. Then she has to HIDE from APPROACHING SOLDIERS, so ROCKET arrives to DISTRACT THEM and gets CAPTURED.

ROCKET

Caesar, I followed your lead and infiltrated the base by getting caught too!

CAESAR

Uhh, yes! A sound strategy that I had planned all along, for sure.

ROCKET

Now let's plot an elaborate escape, like we did at the primate shelter from the first movie!

(beat)

Talk about Planet of the Escapes, eh? Eh?

CAESAR

Okay, let's do it. But how will we unlock the cages?

ROCKET

Leave that to me!

ROCKET crouches down and takes a BIG STEAMING SHIT into his HAND, which he then flings at the BACK OF A NEARBY SOLDIER'S HEAD. We only see the LATTER PART, but the FORMER PART TOTALLY HAPPENED.

SOLDIER

Ewwww! Who did that? WHO FUCKING DID THAT? So help me, I'm gonna come in there with no backup and the keys to the cage doors on me if nobody fesses up!

The SOLDIER is EASILY OVERPOWERED, but as the APES flee their PRISON, the FACILITY COMES UNDER ATTACK by the NORTHERN ARMY UNIT.

CAESAR

Ooooh, I get it! War for the Planet of the Apes means a war between the remaining humans for a planet already dominated by apes! Very clever.

ROCKET

Let's go! We can slip out while the humans waste all their valuable ordnance on a foolish frontal attack!

CAESAR

Eeehmm --

ROCKET

Oh come the FUCK on! After everything it has cost us, you still want to go after Woody, don't you?

CAESAR

I'll be two minutes, swear!

As the BATTLE RAGES, CAESAR climbs up to WOODY'S OFFICE and finds him CRYING IN HIS BED.

CAESAR

Okaaay. I was all set for an epic confrontation, but this is quite underwhelming.

WOODY HARRELSON

...

CAESAR

Oh. Oh! You got infected from Amiah's ragdoll! This is priceless. So, did you realise you probably killed your son for no reason because the simian flu doesn't have any devolutionary effects after all? That's gotta sting!

WOODY HARRELSON

...

CAESAR

You probably WANT me to kill you now. Meh, I suddenly don't feel like it. Looks like I've rediscovered my --

(snorts)

humanity!

WOODY HARRELSON

...

CAESAR

Yeah okay, here's your gun. If you could not shoot me in the back again, that'd be swell.

After WOODY blows his BRAINS OUT, CAESAR sees his TRIBE getting GUNNED DOWN by the REMAINING SOLDIERS, who are being assisted by RED. He jumps down to a FUEL TANKER which he tries to BLOW UP with a GRENADE, but right before he can TOSS IT, he's STRUCK by an ARROW shot by GABRIEL CHAVARRIA.

GABRIEL CHAVARRIA

Ha ha haaah! You figured I'd come over to your side, didn't you? Nope, not happening! I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpanzee! That's one cliché we're subverting at least.

RED

THEN I'LL HAVE TO DO IT! BLUUURGH!

RED kills GABRIEL and SAVES CAESAR, who then blows up the FUEL TANKER. This causes a SUDDEN AVALANCHE that BURIES ALL REMAINING HUMANS. The APES SURVIVE because they're a bunch of TREEHUGGERS.

EXT. OASIS - CALIFORNIA

After a LONG TREK through the DESERT, CAESAR finally leads his TRIBE to the OASIS.

CAESAR

Whew, we made it. I think we've now adequately set the stage for the original film, yes? The apes are thriving with enough room for dissent regarding the treatment of humans, who are now mute. Done deal. If it's okay with you, I'm gonna go ahead and die now. I don't want to stick around for when we suddenly wear suits and drive cars.

MAURICE

What? Don't tell me you still have that arrowhead in your side! Why in the shitting fuck did you wait until after the journey to tell anyone?

CAESAR

Hey, Moses bought it within sight of the promised land too. I was tied to a cross so many times during my captivity that I figured I'd swung right back to the Christ symbolism, so this is the only way I can balance it out.

MAURICE

At least you have led your son to a better world.

CAESAR

What? My son died, remember?

MAURICE

Yeah, Blue Eyes did, but Cornelius is still alive.

CAESAR

I had another son this whole time? Where is he, I'd like to --

(dies)

END

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