While Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprise success during the summer of 2011, its sequel film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is now expected to perform as well as its predecessor. When director Rupert Wyatt left the sequel last year, there was doubt lingering in the air that Dawn might not get made in a timely manner. Luckily, director Matt Reeves (which is an upgrade, if you ask me) stepped in to helm the new Apes sequel. While Matt Reeves said they weren’t going to show footage of the new film at Comic-Con, he surprised the Hall H audience with new footage and a first look at the ape leader, Caesar.
When compared to how Caesar looked in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the new-and-improved Caesar just looks terrifying as the new would-be king of the world. Rumors a few months back suggested the sequel would pick up 15 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but now apparently that gap has dropped to eight years.
The new footage featured Gary Oldman, as the human Dreyfus, delivering a monologue about how humanity had spent four years fighting the virus that infected the planet at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and then another four years fighting each other. This may well lead to the end of the entire human race. “You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”
The footage continued with Jason Clarke’s character running through a forest as he shouts, “I need … to talk … to Caesar!” Then Caesar is revealed, wearing war paint on his face, grunting, and puffing out his chest. Directly behind Caesar are multiple apes hanging off trees around him. From Cinema Blend’s description of the footage, it sounds like there will be more human-fighting-ape action in the new sequel film.
Director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) hopes to connect the audience to the characters in the sequel on an emotional level. The 47-year-old hopes that the movie is “emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being.” This was the key to the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so it should also work well for its sequel.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will feature Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, RoboCop) as Dreyfus, while a family played by Jason Clarke (The Great Gatsby, Lawless), Keri Russell (TV’s The Americans), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) will round out the humans in the new sequel. As for the apes, Judy Greer (Archer) will play Cornelia, who has a son, played by Nick Thurston, with Caesar. British actor Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) will play the key ape role of Koba, while Karin Konoval (The X-Files) reprises her role as the orangutan Maurice and Terry Notary (Avatar) plays Rocket.
Matt Reeves rewrote the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes script with screenwriter Mark Bomback (The Wolverine), working off Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver’s original script. Apparently, Reeves and Bomback re-focused the film’s attention back to Caesar as the film’s emotional center.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters everywhere on July 18, 2014, in 3D. All roads lead to this: