Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a big hit this summer, grossing over $200 million in the US and over $700 million worldwide. That was good for Fox because they dated its follow-up months before release, setting its date for July 29, 2016. Matt Reeves will be back to direct and, of course, Andy Serkis will return as Caesar for the third Planet of the Apes prequel.

Though Dawn definitely teased what could happen next in the series, these new Planet of the Apes films have been anything but predictable. So while promoting the Blu-ray release of the recent film, Reeves and Serkis both dropped a few teases about the third film. Reeves described Caesar on a trajectory towards Moses-like reverence and Serkis said there’s war. Read more about the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel.

First up, Reeves said the following about how the third film is going to fit into the larger context of Planet of the Apes:

[We want] the story to be able to connect from the human to the ape world. So first one, [Rise of the Planet of the Apes] is this sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary. In Dawn, he rose to the occasion of becoming a leader, a great leader in really challenging difficult times. The notion of what we’re after in the third is continue that trajectory to how he becomes the seminal figure in ape history and almost becomes sort of like an ape Moses of sorts, a kind of mythic ascension. We’re trying to play out those themes and try to explore it in this universe of exploring human nature under the guise of apes.

He expanded a bit on that in an interview with Collider:

We are outlining the story right now, and it’s pretty exciting. I’m pretty excited about it. I think for me the idea is that—somebody called this the ‘Caesar cycle’ of these films and I loved that. I thought, ‘That’s exactly right.’ He is this unique character in that he sort of was raised as human but he’s an ape, and he wasn’t part of either.

And, of course, the events of the second film will have a direct effect:

This situation is exactly what he was trying to avoid.  The oncoming war is what Dawn was all about avoiding and it wasn’t avoided, so what does that mean to him as a character and how will he lead his people through this—or his apes through this?

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Serkis tagged that sentiment of how the results of Dawn will influence the next movie:

The ape community has fallen apart. There’s potential war. He’s going to have to lead the apes in darker times. I think it’s going to be very powerful.

So what will the film be called? Reeves isn’t saying, but he did tease this talking to Collider:

I’ll say this as a tease: it might be one word shorter.

Only one word shorter? I assume the first “Of” will go to something along the lines of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Maybe like “Forming The Planet of the Apes?” I guess we’ll find out next year.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits Blu-ray December 2. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel hits theaters July 29, 2016.

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