If you were one of the ticket-buyers that helped make DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES a box-office hit then you know what a satisfying and engrossing film it is. But it was almost a much different film. Luckily there were changes made both before and during filming to make it the film it is now, but if you were wondering what kind of changes had to be made then you'l find these bits of info rather interesting. They could also be considered a bit 'spoilerish', so be warned.
Weeks before the release of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, director Matt Reeves decided to change the ending. They had shot a completely different alternate ending sequence, but he wanted to go for something different. In an interview with /Film Reeves shares some of the changes to the ending, revealing why he decided to recut the entry of the film, while also making a huge trim to the film’s epic conclusion.
...there was a frantic period of editing, literally in the last three weeks. Let’s do another pass on the movie. And I ended up taking out a couple sequences that I loved because I thought the movie played better without them. And we will put those somewhere on the DVD or an extended cut or something.
And what was different about the ending was that after the ending that you see in the final film, the idea was that the apes went out on a kind of exodus through the city and they gathered on the Golden Gate Bridge in order to look into the distance for the approaching warships. And I felt that it was taking us too far into the next movie. And almost starting the next movie and not letting the emotion of what had just happened, of what Caesar had just achieved and what Caesar had the price that he had paid. It wasn’t letting that resonate and it wasn’t ending, the final shot with again hopefully not spoiler way, but the final shot was actually in a way the very same final shot. It was actually him on top of the Golden Gate Bridge which was covered in apes, all looking out way, way into the distance and to see this really like messed up armada way in the distance showing up like really like ships in disrepair. And it moved into his eyes as he took in the uncertain future.
Yes, some of this was shot, as evidenced by the below image from one of the first trailers for the film, a scene that was cut out.
Another interesting note is that the apes almost wore clothes in the film. Some early concept artwork has been revealed, showing some of the ideas for the apes' progression throughout the film, including how they used warpaint and almost wore clothing. Check them out below.