Director Matt Reeves' Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to Rupert Wyatt's 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a reboot/prequel of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Due for release July 11th, this movie is looking more and more like something truly special, and quite possibly one of, if not the science fiction movie of the year.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes told the story of Caesar (Andy Serkis), his mother a test subject for the revolutionary Alzheimers treatment ALZ-112. Genetically more intelligent Caesar was secretly raised by Dr. Will Rodman (James Franco), and as he matured he cared greatly for and looked after Will's father Charles (John Lithgow), whom was suffering from Alzheimers. Taken in by an abusive shelter after protecting Charles, Caesar witnessed the darker side of human nature before inoculating his fellow apes with ALZ-112, giving them the gift of intelligence and instigating an uprising against humankind. Unfortunately ALZ-112 was fatal to most humans and spread as the incurable Simian Flu - which claimed billions of human lives while spreading the gift of intelligence to other apes worldwide.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the story 15 years later with Caesar, now a father and the leader of the Apes finding away to survive in a changing world where humankind is fast becoming an endangered species and the apes are rising to dominance.
Andy Serkis: "We see him as a statesman and a leader and someone who has galvanized all of these apes. We see the beginning of their world."
Matt Reeves: "All of the apes follow Caesar with tremendous allegiance and respect. He is their king and sort of their father."
Having been raised lovingly by humans, Caesar seeks to find a way to co-exist with a small band of human survivors, in the hope ofshowing his fellow apes and other human survivors that both apes and mankind can live together in peace.
Matt Reeves: "In this story we are dealing with the razor's edge of peace. Caesar struggles with the question of peace and how do you act as a father and a leader."
"The big question of the story is can they coexist?"
Andy Serkis: "Caesar's ethos is that apes do not like guns. He's trying to find a peaceful accord with the humans who show up. He's an empathetic character."
Unfortunately for Caesar, some of his fellow apes have only experienced the darker side of human nature, such as Koba (portrayed by Toby Kebbell). Yet despite his hatred for humans, Koba trusts and revers Caesar.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows the beginning of the ape dominated world as we first saw in 1968's Planet of the Apes, similar in concept to the Middle Ages of human civilisation (5th - 15th Century A.D.).
Matt Reeves: "We've got apes on horses. There is a sense in the beginning of the movie that apes have inherited the Earth. You see the species as it takes dominion over the planet. It's an ape-world. That's the fun of it."
As seen in the first teaser trailer Malcolm (Jason Clarke) seeks out Caesar, and there is promise of a point where Caesar's hope for co-existence with humans looks like a real possibility.
Matt Reeves: "The small group of humans are struggling to come back from devastation, and the apes are fighting for survival. The big question is, can they co-exist?"
"We all know it doesn't become Planet of Humans and Apes. It becomes Planet of the Apes. But this is that one moment of time where there is hope for humans."
To ensure both sets of actors performances were convincingly expressed on the big screen director Matt Reeves used the same motion capture technology pioneered in James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster Avatar.
Andy Serkis (called the technology): "a huge technical leap which enables there to be no disconnect with the other live-action actors."
Matt Reeves (said of Caesar's face): "You can see a real haunted quality."
Inevitably, it seems, that despite the best intentions of Caesar, some of the apes and some of the humans, old wounds refuse to heal - apes having been mistreated by humans, and the humans being killed by the very thing that has brought the ape into dominance (the Simian Flu AKA ALZ-112) - and conflict between the apes and a small band of human survivors becomes inevitable, in an attempt by each side to protect what they each have.
Andy Serkis: "Caesar not only has a wife, but also an infant son and a teenage son. This film centers around the notion of family — the survival of the family and what lengths you would go to to protect them when life is extremely hard and tough."
The small band of human survivors led by Malcolm, Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) and Ellie (Keri Russell) form a new colony in deserted San Francisco, before seeking power from the Hydro Dam situated deep in Muir Woods, Caesar and the Apes' territory.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theatres July 11th, and also stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe, The Walking Dead), additionally Jurassic World actress Judy Greer as Caesars wife Cornelia.
Matt Reeves: "Terry (Notary - Choreographer - also plays an ape called Rocket) was supposed to report back to me to see if Judy (Greer) would be able to express herself in a simian way. He called me afterwards and said that Judy was going to make a great ape. And she is."
Thanks to USA Today for the news!
War for the Planet of the Apes July 14th, 2017
More about War for the Planet of the Apes (movie)
Following the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar, and his ape colony is embroiled in a battle with an army of humans. When the apes suffer heavy losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts as he resolves to avenge his kind. The battle pits Caesar against the humans' leader, a ruthless Colonel, in an encounter that will determine the fate of their species and Earth's future.
Directed by Matt Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes's release date is July 14th, 2017.
Stay up to date with the latest news on War for the Planet of the Apes by liking Scified on Facebook and by following us on Twitter and Instagram! Also, consider subscribing your email to our Planet Of The Apes Movie News blog for instant notifications of when new posts are made!