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Fox Partners With Jane Goodall Institute on Chimpanzee Sanctuary Ahead of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Release

Variety logo Variety 6/5/2017 Dave McNary
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20th Century Fox is partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute to provide care for rescued chimpanzees, many of whom are victims of the illegal commercial bushmeat and pet trades.

The studio made the announcement Monday, five weeks before the July 14 opening of its “War for the Planet of the Apes,” starring Woody Harrelson as a military leader facing off against Andy Serkis’ ape leader Caesar.

The institute provides sanctuary for nearly 150 rescued animals on three forested island sites and a mainland sanctuary site at the Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in Republic of Congo. The institute has named the housing on Tchindzoulou island, the largest of the three island sanctuary sites, after Caesar.

Matt Reeves, who directed 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” is returning to helm from a script by Mark Bomback. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver are producing the film. “War for the Planet of the Apes” is the eighth film in the franchise.

“I think that the ‘Planet of the Apes’ series makes people think about the apes and perhaps our relationship to them,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. “And anything that makes us think about our own humanity in relation to the rest of the animal kingdom is important. So I think the series has helped.”

Reeves said in a statement, “It is an honor and a privilege to partner with the Jane Goodall Institute in providing needed care for our closest living animal relatives. Over the course of filming Caesar’s cinematic journey, it’s fascinated me to learn so much about apes and chimpanzees, these amazing, sentient animals who organize, strategize and even socialize in much the same way as humans. Our hope is this reimagined Apes franchise will spark a fresh awareness, compassion and respect for these majestic species for generations to come.”

Fox released a video Monday to go along with the announcement:

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