Discovery Networks International (DNI) has commissioned Keo Films to produce a two-hour documentary event set to explore a community of chimpanzees in Ngogo, Uganda.
Directed by James Reed, Rise of the Warrior Apes(pictured) will follow the largest troop of chimps ever discovered while focusing on the unit’s four leading apes – Hare, Pincer, Ellington and Bartok – who rule through ambition, politics and alliances.
The film traces the four warrior apes over a two-decade period in an attempt to determine how they established a unit more than three times the size of anything previously seen in the wild. Utilizing archive film from researchers and new footage, the two-hour event aims to expose in-depth insight into animal behavior and human evolution.
Rise of the Warrior Apes is scheduled to premiere across Animal Planet in the U.S., as well as DNI’s stable of networks in more than 220 countries and territories, in early 2017.
“Rise of the Warrior Apes is an epic film and a new approach to natural history that draws upon some of the most powerful storytelling archetypes,” said Marjorie Kaplan, president of content at DNI, in a statement. “The chimps are not unlike some of the larger than life characters populating big drama today. They are rulers, usurpers, heroes, lovers and friends. But these creatures, who we know intimately through the experiences of the researchers who have studied them for decades, are no fictional invention. And that makes them and their lives even more captivating.”