When Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in 2011, it was a surprise hit that no one was expecting to be good. Now that there are some expectations surrounding Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, can director Matt Reeves and company deliver a sequel that is as good as the first film? With everything we’ve been hearing about the project, there’s a strong possibility it will live up to expectations.
In an interview while promoting her new film Austenland, actor Keri Russell talked about reuniting with her Felicity director Matt Reeves for the new Apes sequel, and she actually revealed a few new plot details as well. While one group of humans are struggling to survive in the new post-apocalyptic world, a group of self-aware apes are coming into their own as the dominant species on the planet. Russell says:
I can tell you that it’s about ten years after Rise, the first one and, basically where we come is it that there’s been this virus outbreak and there’s very little of civilization alive. And the apes that are left don’t think there are any humans left and the humans don’t think there are any apes left and through a set of circumstances they meet up and it’s really about ‘Can the two communities exist together?’
I play one of the existing humans in the colony and I have some medical skills, although it’s not like I’m a big fancy doctor. Anyone who has any skill has now been… there’s no electricity, there’s no… so everyone uses every little bit of training that they have.
You can easily see both storylines coming together in the film for an explosive climax. Considering that we know the eventual outcome, it will be interesting to see if the two groups will achieve some sort of balance or if the finale will push us closer to the “Planet of the Apes” of the title.
A few days ago, Keri Russell’s co-star, Judy Greer, talked about her Dawn character as well. Greer plays Cornelia, the mother of Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) child. It’s easy to imagine Keri Russell and Judy Greer’s roles will mirror each other as the story unfolds.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will also feature Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Kodi Smit-McPhee on the human side of the film. As for the apes, Andy Serkis will reprise his role as Caesar, while Nick Thurston will play his son. Toby Kebbell will play Koba, one of the key ape roles, while Karin Konoval reprises her role as Maurice the orangutan and Terry Notary will play fan-favorite Rocket.
Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) and screenwriter Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) re-wrote Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes original screenplay. Reeves wants to connect the audience to the characters on an emotional level, and hopes the sequel will prove “emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being.”
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters everywhere on July 18, 2014, in 3D.