I like the fact that Matt Reeves’ upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t have a rating just yet, as if a large portion of its success won’t be coming from PG-13-friendly audiences. I’d love to hear about how Reeves had to cut a scene because it featured too much monkey rape and cocaine use, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty dark sequel even without going overboard like I would. Andy Serkis, whose motion was captured for the role of lead ape Caesar, recently spoke with Collider and shared a few details about this highly anticipated follow-up, and even gave us a clue as to how the third film in this neo-franchise will tie into the Apes mythology as a whole. Holy mobius strip, Apeman!
First, it won’t take long at all for the titular apes to enter into the story. “For the first 20 minutes of the movie,” Serkis says, “it’s basically you think you’re watching just apes, and you forget human beings.” Rarely has a sentence been so encouraging, as the conflict and possible resolution between man and ape can only be as important if both sides are given equal attention and story weight. Caesar’s tech-free society could easily become something cartoonish in another iteration of this story — the Ninja Turtles made electricity happen inside an abandoned subway station — but Reeves is touted for keeping the legitimacy intact.
While Rupert Wyatt’s first entry, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was a slightly subdued and limited beginning to the Apes saga, Dawn is on the other end of the spectrum, where the world has not only been opened up but also destroyed in the process, through a deadly virus that wiped out most of the Earth’s human population. Some human survivors have collected in San Francisco, just across the bridge from the growing genetically modified simian community, with a matured Caesar at its head. Serkis calls him an egalitarian leader, promoting equality among everyone…of the apes.
While war may be imminent, the story is also supposed to broach the subject of peace between all species. I can’t help but think we find out the outcome to that in Serkis’ hint as to what this film will do for Reeve’s already announced third Apes film.
The idea would be that this will segue into a third movie, which would lead us back to the origins, and lead us back to the very, very first movie. So we have yet to complete another cycle. This film is about survival. In the next film, the conflict between apes and man intensifies.
While Fox’s rebooted trilogy has been expected to possibly tie into the original franchise, that’s about as direct a link as you could hope for. And should Fox actually decide to let it be at that point with a solid, focused prequel trilogy, they could start doing spin-offs in the same universe that don’t have to be about “how and why this is all how it is.”
Weekend at Bernie’s on the Planet of the Apes. Thought planted.
Meet your maker’s most successful experiment in the new TV spot below, followed by the entire Serkis interview, which also goes into his interesting Jungle Book adaptation. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on May 23. See it. Bring more smart science fiction to theaters.