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Matt Reeves says war movies & Bible epics inspired Planet of the Apes

04.28.2017

With all the movies coming out this summer WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is going to have to do a lot in order to stand out from the pack of aliens, fighting robots and talking cars. This shouldn’t be difficult, though, as director Matt Reeves recently revealed how being inspired by blockbusters of old gave it style that will separate from the rest of the summer pack.

Reeves got to talk with EW, and during that chat gave a shout-out to Fox, who the director said "actually gave us time" for he and writer Mark Bomback to discuss the movie, history and to watch countless movies preparation. Many of those films included classic war films, westerns and Biblical epics – all of which have themes and styles that made their way into this ape v. man slugfest:

We watched Bridge on the River Kwai. We watched The Great Escape. We watched Biblical epics, because I really felt like this movie had to have a Biblical aspect to it. We watched Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments. We didn’t go, like, “Let’s take a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” When you surround yourself with something that feels emotionally right, there are connections that make sense to you that somebody else might not see…[the films] informed the vibe we felt about this thing.

Caesar (Andy Serkis) can almost be considered like a religious figure, leading the charge and the rise of the apes, gaining a “mythic” status:

The movie is totally about his mythic ascension…The battle for his soul that cements his position as the key figure in early Ape history. You can imagine the story of him would inspire religions.

EW also got their hands on a new pic from the movie, this one with Woody Harrelson standing next to his new friend.

Focusing the stories so heavily on the evolution of Caesar has been the smartest idea to come out of these new ape movies. Centering it on a human, with the struggle being emphasized on mankind’s fight against the apes, would’ve been bland and aimless. But telling the story of Caesar with such depth and intricacy is what makes the last two movies worth revisiting, so having the next chapter be told with an almost Biblical angle, and against the backdrop of a war movie, is pure genius. No pressure to deliver, guys.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES arrives July 14.

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Source: EW

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