Caesar’s human counterpart in what looks to be the final war for control of Earth is a mean son of a gun. The Colonel shaves his head with a straight razor while lording over his troops, and he seems determined to eradicate the ape threat in its entirety.
Woody Harrelson will play the character dubbed as nothing but the “Colonel” in July 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes. Much like the past two films in the Apes reboot series (Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), human audiences can probably expect to find themselves rooting against their own species. There’s a good chance that will be the Colonel’s fault.
The international trailer for the new Apes film puts the rivalry between ape leader Caesar and the human Colonel in the spotlight. In the extended clip of the human attack on Caesar in a cave behind a waterfall, Harrelson’s Colonel demands to know if Caesar is dead in the silence following a fire fight. Caesar’s mood immediately shifts from betrayed to pissed in 2 seconds flat, and he flings himself at the Colonel with a war cry.
Their rivalry is further flushed out by the Colonel’s speech: “All of human history has led to this moment. The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since. This is our last stand — and, if we lose, it will be a planet of apes.” The final sentence is uttered over a clip of the Colonel placing the barrel of a gun to Caesar’s head, and the ape leader glaring up at him defiantly in response.
Because the Colonel is looking to be such a harsh, black-and-white character thus far, it begs the question of whether or not audiences will be able to side with the humans for once in this Apes reboot. All signs point to no.