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‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Launches Gorilla-Sized Oscar Campaign

War for the Planet of the Apes
20th Century Fox

At the Oscars, genre films usually dominate the special effects categories, sometimes getting a nod or a win for a certain actor or director. Mad Max: Fury Road was the last big genre pic to get in the running for Best Picture, receiving tons of nominations after it awed audiences and critics back in 2015. This year’s race is set to be mighty interesting, as Wonder Woman is rumored to be stirring up an Oscar campaign, and a bunch of genre material by prestige directors is debuting within the next few months during fall film festival season. War for the Planet of the Apes is setting itself up as an unlikely contender, officially launching its huge Oscar campaign today.

While the series has been ongoing since the sixties, nominations have largely stuck to the makeup and effects categories, and the new trilogy of films has been largely ignored by the Academy. Not so now, as this campaign is the biggest effort in the series’ history to get the recognition it deserves. As Deadline describes it:

In every way Fox will be launching a campaign to “make it about the movie,” as one person associated with the film has told me, and they have also hired a couple of top awards consultants to concentrate on efforts in just getting the film seen by members. They feel, based on response since its opening July 14, that the movie itself will take care of the rest.

20th Century Fox is going for a ton of categories — makeup, visual effects, sound design, etc. — in order to “build a firewall” that’ll hopefully get it into Best Picture consideration. The studio also hopes to get Andy Serkis a Best Actor nom, as his talents have gone criminally unnoticed in the years since these new movies have been in theaters.

It might sound weird to have a film starring motion-capture apes in the Best Picture race, but think about it. It’s nuts that this series is what it is and also happens to be really great. War for the Planet of the Apes is a fantastic ending to a bafflingly good series, and seeing i get the recognition it deserves could only be a good thing for Hollywood.

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