Thursday, 17 November 2016

Matt Reeves discusses War For The Planet Of The Apes

War For The Planet Of The Apes was the subject of a special preview at the New York Comic Con last month that highlighted seven minutes of incomplete footage and the comments of director Matt Reeves, producer Dylan Clark and star Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes). What became apparent is that this third chapter in the rebooted science fiction franchise is going to feature some pretty epic action – certainly unlike anything the series, that began in 1968 with the original Planet Of The Apes and encompasses a total of eight films to date, has seen before. The plot, as suggested by the end of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014), has Caesar and his fellow apes battling against a ruthless military colonel (Woody Harrelson), intent on wiping out the simian population.

"We started talking about it while we were still finishing Dawn," reveals Reeves. "The amount of time we took off between the films was about four weeks, and we were already talking about the next film. The thing that we always knew from the beginning was that Dawn was about a moment in time where peace was possible. Of course, we know it doesn't become Planet Of The Humans And Apes – it becomes Planet Of The Apes. The question is: How do we get there?"

Things are left at the end of that story on the precipice of war, and they knew at that point they would take Caesar into a place where he would have to confront a war he didn't want.

"Those conversations," Reeves notes, "began right from the beginning. One of the things that he is haunted about is that Dawn was very much about how Caesar ended up having to kill his brother, in Koba, who is played amazingly by Toby Kebbell. As we begin this story, we are thrust two years, after the end of Dawn, into the war. Caesar is fighting a war that he didn't want. He's in the woods. They've all retreated because apes know the woods better than humans. It has been a brutal fight, there have been huge losses on both sides, and Caesar's haunted by Koba, what he had to do, and this feeling that somehow if he could have seen what it was, the fact that Koba had this experience with humans that was so dark that he could never coexist with them, that if Andy as Caesar had been able to... I think Andy and Caesar are the same... If they had been able to anticipate that, this war could have been avoided. The journey of the story, the mythic journey, is that Caesar comes to understand exactly why Koba felt the way he did, because he gets pushed, through the extremes of war, to a place that's similar to where Koba was. The question is, will he be able to transcend that?"

The answer to that question will be revealed next July when War For The Planet Of The Apes arrives in cinemas on 14 July next year.

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