Fans of the original Planet of the Apes movies know that the original films created a complicated mythology that involved, amongst other things, time travel. Because I guess the planet full of highly evolved apes enslaving humanity didn’t have enough story potential to it? Beats me. At any rate, last year’s surprise hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes introduced a more grounded, realistic chapter in the franchise’s history, and it looks like they’re going to stick with that approach for the sequel, at least in some regards. Namely, time travel is a no-no.
Screenwriter Rick Jaffa addressed the time travel issue in a new interview with Total Film. Here’s what he had to say:
I don’t foresee that. But it’s interesting you should ask that, because it’s the one big element that we made a conscious decision not to explore in the first one, and we were worried that there might be some backlash in the science fiction community because of it. When the story first came together we were very, very excited, and yet before we pitched it, I thought, ‘The one thing missing though is time travel. But it’s not necessary for this particular telling’. And I don’t really foresee it, to tell you the truth.
While the filmmakers have never actually described Rise of the Planet of the Apes, at least to me it felt very self-contained and divergent from the original films. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily. If you’re going to the trouble of trying to kickstart a franchise that’s been laying fallow for a while, I can understand why the producers would want to make it stand apart as its own thing.
Whether the writers continue to create semi-prequels to the original films or if they decide to outright break from the established continuity, Rise was such a pleasant surprise that I’ll definitely give them the benefit of the doubt. If for nothing else but more of Andy Serkis’ brilliant motion-capture performances.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is currently scheduled for release on May 23, 2014.