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Director Matt Reeves reveals new details for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

07.17.2013

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES surprised the hell out of a lot of people when it was released in 2011. The film was well received by critics and made bank in theaters, in particular foreign markets. Matt Reeves is currently filming the sequel, and in an extensive interview with IndieWire the director spilled some new information about the upcoming film. There are some spoilers (about the new film and the first) so some of you may want to avoid the rest of this article. For everyone else, here are the important things to know about DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES:

How have the apes evolved since the first film?

"The world is larger, still growing. For all of us that was exciting to explore, and bring in new performers to our cast of apes, Toby Kebbell and other great actors along with Andy. The apes story is a through-the-looking-glass way of looking at what we are. By what's going on in the internal lives of the apes we are exploring ourselves, our impulses, our society. So much is roiling inside Caesar. He has a rational side separate from the apes, they're all instinct. We are seeing how Caesar becomes this leader."

Will the apes be able to talk?

"Caesar talks at the end of the movie, he has some level of speech. I wanted to make sure we're continuing to go along the path of evolution without missing it, it was so delicious to watch in the first movie. It's not like now they are talking in verse. Hopefully the movie is emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being."

What is Matt Reeves take on DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES?

"I wanted to extend what I thought was achieved so brilliantly, the emotional connection with Caesar, with a greater sense of realism in the world, the face of it and scale of it. Where the first movie ends on the precipice of a major shift about to happen in the world, I wanted to come into that story. It's definitely a bigger ape world, but it still centered on Andy Serkis as Caesar, it's his POV. When I got involved the story initially took place further down the line, the apes had evolved fast. What excited me was the idea of going back to finding a way to get on the path, I did not want to jump so far ahead. I restarted the first movie that put you in the heart of the apes, knowing that in the canon, the '68 movie I saw as a kid, you know what that world is about. That was the beginning. So this leads to the original film. How does that work? That is where it's going. I did not want to go too far and miss how it developed."

Where will the movie take place?

"The ape civilization is in the woods, between Vancouver and New Orleans, the world after what happens with the simian virus flu. The two main locales are San Francisco and the Muir Woods where the ape civilization is born. We'll be doing a little shooting in San Francisco as well. A lot of the Louisiana shooting was to build huge wood sets outside in the woods to add realism, enormous exterior streets. We're shooting in the rain, in the wind, all on location out in the open in the elements."

How Reeves wants his film to be bigger than RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES:

"In the last movie there were a lot of things the apes couldn't do as performers, physically, so they animated them. It's amazing but some of that stuff isn't totally believable. You accept it. One of the things in the pursuit to make this as realistic as possible in addition to going on location in the light for a higher level of realism, is to see the movement of the ape stunt performers, not animated. The stunt performers trained themselves to move like apes. What they are performing is all real and when you see it translated it will not look animated. And I wanted to make sure to bring to the human characters the same level of emotional depth as the apes. I can't give too much away, I'm hiding a little bit. I'm going back to shooting apes climbing trees in the woods."

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES will have a panel at Comic-Con, but unfortunately there won't be any ape footage according to Reeves:

"Because we're shooting, we're not showing very much. We are not going to be coming with tons of footage. The cast will be there, we'll try to give a taste of limited little bits. But not ape shots, we're not going to do that, you're limited in what you can show. That's another story that takes months and months. The movie doesn't even come out Memorial Day, we switched with "X-Men" on July 18. Now we can do those shots. So much doesn't exist yet."

I've enjoyed Matt Reeves' previous films and since he seems to be such a big fan of the original movies, I think DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is in very safe hands. It does sound like the sequel is going to be much bigger in scope than the original, and with Reeves directing (plus a pretty awesome cast) I can't wait to see more for this movie.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Judy Greer, and Andy Serkis will be in theaters on July 18th, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: Matt Reeves helped co-write the script that would eventually become UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY.
Source: IndieWire

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