At a recent WonderCon Q&A session, director Matt Reeves along with stars Andy Serkis and Keri Russell gave an idea of what we can expect to see in the upcoming sequel to 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
“Caesar brings intelligence to the apes and leads a revolution,” Reeves said before screening a clip from the film.
The footage showed the ape with the scar taking a machine gun off a guard then proceeding to shoot him with it. The gun is then pointed at another guard who stares down the barrel before the screen cut to black.
Reeves was quick to point out that despite the violence in the clip, it was not the 'human vs apes' aspect that drew him to the film.
“What excited me was not about coming into the story with apes as villains,” the director said. “There are no villains. … It’s a story about survival.”
Set 10 years after Rise of the Planet, survival for the remaining humans may prove to be very difficult what with the virus that was released at the end of the previous film. So much so that the director admitted that initially you may not think there are any humans in the film at all.
“As you start the movie, you think the viral apocalypse has wiped out all humans,” Reeves said. “And you spend [the first] 15, 20 minutes in the world of the apes.”
But, Reeves claims, this kind of opening was essential for his take on the film and the themes of family and survival.
“There are two families – an ape family and human family,” he said. “And you’re going to see who survived.”
Star Andy Serkis, returning as head-ape Caesar, also commented on the themes of the movie and what challenges Caesar would be faced with.
“Caesar doesn’t rule with an iron fist,” he explained. “He listens to the opinions of others. He is a family man – ‘or ‘ape’ — who is forced into an incredibly difficult situation once the humans arrive.”
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is directed by Matt Reeves and stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Toby Kebbell and is due for release July 11, 2014.