When young people idealize the life of an actor, I’m sure it includes a lot of expensive cars, universal idolatry and a life without worries. I seriously doubt there are a wealth of performers out there wishing for a life of wearing awkward prosthetics and camera gear, often with dots drawn all over their faces. In other words, no one is thinking about becoming the next Andy Serkis, even though he’s one of the most recognizable actors in the world, with a wealth of recognizable characters on his resume.
We will next see Serkis (or at least a digital representation of his actions) back as the prime primate Caesar in Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now we have an interesting behind-the-scenes shot of the actor in full motion-capture glory. At least that’s what we think this is. It may very well be Serkis on vacation, unable to break his Hollywood habits.
Obviously a shot like this doesn’t really offer us any insight into the story itself, though it appears ape leader Caesar will at one point be standing atop a bunch of logs. This will presumably be the launching pad for the spinoff thriller Rise of the Lakeside Area of the Beavers, but the apes are definitely in charge for now.
In this sequel to 2011’s surprisingly exciting Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar will lead his hairy brethren into the forests as mankind’s population has been destroyed thanks to the worldwide spread of a deadly virus. The decision for both sides then becomes a choice of whether to work together and prolong survival or to battle it out until only one superior species stands above. Considering the movie still refers to it as a “planet of the apes,” I think we’re safe in assuming that war is the first option chosen, with a chance of peace to come near the end.
This action-packed sequel is upping the ante of the relatively calm first film, and has a much larger cast this go around. Gone is James Franco, replaced by the legendary Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Judy Greer, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Reeves is directing from a script written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who wrote the first film, along with Scott Z. Burns and Mark Bomback. Usually a huge list of screenwriters like that only spells out a film’s doom. But we’re hoping the apes don’t quite know how to spell yet.
More apes and human drama can be found in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, where the top image was released. And in case you missed it, here’s the dark and tense teaser trailer released a couple of weeks ago…