Next year’s War for the Planet of the Apes might not just depict intelligent apes blowing things up, but it could also render a devastated Earth ravaged by a nuclear winter.

While the snowy new teaser from the upcoming sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t give us much more than the heroic ape leader Caesar saying, “Sorry … but the war has begun,” the snow surrounding him could imply a hardcore post-apocalyptic setting for the film. If for some reason human or ape forces detonated numerous nuclear weapons around the same time, the longtime result could have created a catastrophic new ice age with extremely cold weather. We’re not sure when War takes place after Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but if it’s long enough in the future, nuclear winter is definitely possible.

The teaser also has Caesar totally getting blown away at the end. Could this mean Caesar himself is dead by the time the events of War for the Planet of the Apes gets going?

'Escape from the Planet of the Apes'
'Escape from the Planet of the Apes'

If Earth is suffering from a full-on nuclear winter, there’s every reason to believe a lot of time has passed since the events in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Perhaps Andy Serkis will appear as Caesar in flashbacks and also appear as his own descendent of a different name. In the original Planet of the Apes series, Roddy McDowall played Cornelius in Planet of the Apes and Escape from the Planet of the Apes, but then McDowall also played his own son Caesar in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. If Serkis plays a descendent of Caesar in the new War for the Planet of the Apes, perhaps that hypothetical ape could be named “Cornelius” in a sort of reverse retro-reference.

Of course, the Planet of the Apes films have dealt with nuclear weapons and fallout before: Charlton Heston’s Col. Taylor destroys the entire Earth on purpose with a nuke in Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Here’s hoping the future Earth of he next Apes film fares slightly better.

Photos via 20th Century Fox