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Fox Thinks War For The Planet Of The Apes Deserves An Oscar For Best Picture

The war for the planet of the apes is over, but the struggle for Oscar gold is soon to begin.

Keep an eye out this upcoming awards season, because Fox is going to make a major effort to get its critically-acclaimed, trilogy-capping War for the Planet of the Apes not only nominated, but to emerge victorious in the category of Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards, Deadline has learned.

The story quotes several executives both with Fox and the Apes production who confirm the studio will be firing on all cylinders to get the movie recognized during awards season. In the words of one unnamed executive, "we are really going for it with this one."

"I actually think it's a very Academy-like movie, and that it is one of the most moral movies that has been made this year," said Peter Chernin, a producer on all three movies in the newest Apes trilogy. He cited as particularly powerful the arc of Caesar, the main character and leader of the apes, portrayed by Andy Serkis, who "is torn between his desire for revenge and his obligation and his responsibility towards the people he's leading."

"In my opinion, these are really important themes," Chernin continued. "the kind of themes the Academy voters have historically responded to."

Part of the studio's quest for the ultimate prize will be locking down nominations for technical categories, such as visual effects and costuming. In a way, they're borrowing a strategy recently deployed by producers of Mad Max: Fury Road, which was nominated for Best Picture in 2016, winning a bevy of technical awards for its achievements along the way. 

Another aspect of their push will be getting the Academy to recognize the performance of Andy Serkis, whom anyone would agree definitely deserves his due as a pioneering performer in the art of motion-capture. The studio has been trying to raise awareness of how much of the onscreen Caesar is the result of his work, sharing one cool video as example that seamlessly shows Serkis' human face becoming Caesar's face during a motion-captured monologue. The challenge is getting Academy voters to recognize that though what they are seeing on-screen may be CGI, it's built over a thoroughly human foundation.

Not leaving anything to chance, producers will also reportedly use the endorsement of famed primatologist Jane Goodall in campaign ads.

The truth about Hollywood awards is that they're less about merit and more about the effectiveness of an awards campaign, and Fox is primed to lean into the challenge. So if your family usually spends the holidays talking about what movies they think will win big, you might want to get the jump on War for the Planet of the Apes before it becomes part of the conversation. And to see how War stacks up in the series its a part of, check out our feature on every Planet of the Apes movie ranked worst to best.