In 2011, the prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes was expected to be a lackluster, unnecessary, and dull entry in the science fiction film franchise. However, once it was released and people actually watched the film, it was clear that Rise was a special movie-going experience. A majority of the surprise success of the prequel film can be attributed to the film’s director, Rupert Wyatt, as well as Andy Serkis’ brilliant performance as the uplifted ape Caesar. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes isn’t due in theaters until July 2014, but now animatics from Rise have popped up online, featuring two unused scenes from the film.
The first features the worst paper route ever! Showing the added destruction from a multitude of sentient simians rampaging through the suburbs, the clip shows a paperboy and his family as they are attacked. The scene is short and you can see why it was cut out of the movie. At this point showing more destruction almost takes away the momentum of the film’s climax. There are plenty of scenes showing that the suburbs are not a safe place to be during the ape revolution.
Conversely, the next unused scene highlights more of San Francisco in the midst of the ape uprising. Starting with an animal control worker, the action escalates more and more as apes leap from building to building, destroying everything in their path. Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn’t really an action-packed movie until the end, so you would want to keep the momentum going until the last scene between Caesar and Dr. Will Rodman, played by James Franco. So once again, this clip hit the cutting-room floor.
Illustrator Tim Burgard created the storyboards for Rise, while artist James Rothwell handled the film’s animatics. The unused scenes surfaced on Film Sketchr, a blog that highlights concept design and storyboarding in science fiction films and television. All three websites are worth checking out if you’re a fan of storyboards and concept art.
As for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, there hasn’t been much activity since new director Matt Reeves presented the film at San Diego Comic-Con this past July. Reeves couldn’t showoff footage from the sequel film, but he did present Caesar’s new terrifying look. A new teaser poster also made its debut to the Hall H crowd.
Dawn features two parallel storylines: one featuring a group of scientists trying to survive the Simian Flu disease, while the other showcases Caesar’s rise to power and dominance over the other self-aware Simians. The sequel stars Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Nick Thurston, Toby Kebbell, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, and Judy Greer.
Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) and screenwriter Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) rewrote Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver’s original screenplay. Matt 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.