Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit the home video market this week, and with all of that, there’s been a lot of focus on the future of the rebooted franchise. And with all of the talk of star Andy Serkis possibly being nominated for end-of-the-year awards for his performance, despite the fact that he delivers his whole turn from beneath layers and layers of digital camouflage, there’s been even more to discuss. Matt Reeves directed Dawn, and will be back for the as-yet-untitled third chapter, and has been sharing vague glimpses at what we can expect to see.
One of the most stunning moments in Dawn is when Caesar (Serkis) sends Koba (Toby Kebbell) to his death. The apes are much more developed as characters than their human counterparts, and this is one of the most emotional moments of the film, especially for a culture where the most defining, concrete rule is “Ape shall not kill ape.” This is a big decision for Caesar, and something that is going to dog the leader as long as he survives, especially as he declares that Koba is no longer an ape, removing his connection to the community, essentially stripping him of any identity. Talking to JoBlo, Reeves shared his thoughts on the continuing impact of that decision.
As this story continues, we know that war is not avoided by the end of Dawn. That is going to take us into the world of what he is grappling with. Where he is going to be thrust into circumstances that he never, ever wanted to deal with, and was hoping he could avoid. And now he is right in the middle of it. The things that happen in that story test him in huge ways, in the ways in which his relationship with Koba haunts him deeply.
Reeves goes on to describe what the third film will look like, from a broad structural standpoint at least. He says:
It’s going to be an epic story. I think you’ve probably read that I sort of described it where in the first film was very much about his rise from humble beginnings to being a revolutionary. The second movie was about having to rise to the challenge of being a great leader in the most difficult of times. This is going to be the story that is going to cement his status as a seminal figure in ape history, and sort of leads to an almost biblical status. He is going to become like a mythic ape figure, like Moses.
This isn’t the first time Reeves has invoked the image of Caesar becoming an ape leader in the vein of Moses.
Given the trajectory of the Apes films thus far, it’s clear they’re building towards a world similar to the original,1968 Planet of the Apes, but Reeves says even though that’s the direction things are moving, you shouldn’t expect a remake of that film. Hell, Tim Burton already tried in 2001, and that sucked. Reeves says:
The idea would never be to remake the ’68 film. There might be some of those events from another perspective, and obviously to also see them as events that grew out of everything that we’ve been watching from this new iteration. They wouldn’t be exactly the same either. So if, and when, we ever get there, which I think is an exciting notion, it would definitely not be a remake but it would be sort of a re-telling of those events from a new perspective. And the events themselves would probably be a bit different since they will have grown out of these films.
That’s a pretty badass answer, and one that should help ease the minds of those among us who are afraid we were on our way to another remake of the Charlton Heston-starring original.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit Blu-ray and DVD December 2, last Tuesday if you’re keeping track, and the third film is scheduled for July 29. 2016.