Comic Con: The Fox movies panel! Dawn of the Planet of the Apes!

PLANET OF THE APES fans were rewarded with the recent RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, which many felt was a film that "made up" for Tim Burton's not-so-well-received remake. The Comic Con panel for Fox's sequel, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, was a short, but sweet affair, bringing out director Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) to address his take on the newly revitalized franchise. Reeves said that STAR WARS was his early obsession, but that PLANET OF THE APES was an earlier influence long before that.

Reeves then brought out stars Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis, and Keri Russell to the stage for some brief comments. Russell, who worked with Reeves' on her hit show Felicity, said that Reeves had created a unique world where both the humans and apes had created a world where each existed separately, but with the same goal of protecting their families. Clarke talked up the action in the film, emphasizing the use of Cirque du Solei and Parkour stunt performers to enhance the motion of the apes.

Serkis gave the most detail, however, stating that Caesar, the "leader" of the apes that "rose" in the last film, was 10 years older in DAWN and has a wife and kid, as well as a Council of Apes to contend with. Reeves said that since this is still another prequel chapter, the focus is in the journey to getting to where we know it ends, which is the original PLANET OF THE APES. This could be good or bad news, depending on the Apes fan, as those that want to see a "proper" remake of the original will obviously have to hold out a bit longer. Reeves then ran a teaser for the film, which certainly sold the sequel's premise well.

Here's the rundown:

The establishing shot of the trailer shows a heavily forested city-type area, a nod that this is well into a kind of "ape apocalypse" where human population has suffered a cataclysmic event (i.e. apes taking over the world). We see groups of people, including Jason Clarke and Keri Russell as a band of survivors, all dirty and "geared up" for their new world order and a speech from Clark to his "people" states summarizes that it's been a bumpy road since the Ape invasion, saying that they've spent "four years fighting the virus and four years fighting each other" before having to confront the Ape threat.

We then see a desparate Clarke moving slowly into the woods then standing still and looking into the trees with angry trepidation. After a short beat, he yells something to the effect of, "I need to speak with Caesar!" We then cut to a close up of Caesar wearing white warpaint. The camera pulls back to reveal an army of apes in the trees with Caesar leading the pack. He then yells "Charge!" and the apes leap into action before cutting to black.

As someone who didn't fawn all over RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, I found the teaser for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES to be much more my speed. The apocalyptic setting looks moody and atmospheric with an emphasis on mud and rain in a "forested jungle" and I thought it worked exceptionally. I think the main sell, though, is that it finally gets back to the man vs. ape aspect, which RISE toyed with in the end, but it wasn't so much a battle as a discovery of identity. Basically, DAWN looks like it's ready to evolve back into the man vs. ape aspect that made the franchise so cool to begin with.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens in theaters on July 18, 2014.

JoBlo.com covers San Diego Comic Con 2013

Extra Tidbit: I think the next chapter of the franchise should be the actual remake of Planet. What do you think? Should they continue with the origin journey or would you like to see them get past that point?
Source: JoBlo.com



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