Serkis Rise of Apes

Director Matt Reeves will soon present the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, at San Diego Comic-Con. However, with a film that’s still shooting and is very heavy on CGI, he doesn’t expect to have much footage to show. What he will show is his passion for the franchise, one he’s been a fan of since childhood.

In an new interview, the director of Cloverfield and Let Me In dropped a ton of details on what exactly he’s bringing to the sequel, which is set for release in July 2014.

Reeves spoke to Thompson on Hollywood about the film and revealed he radically changed the original drafts by screenwriters Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa:

When I got involved the story initially took place further down the line, the apes had evolved fast. What excited me was the idea of going back to finding a way to get on the path, I did not want to jump so far ahead. I restarted the first movie that put you in the heart of the apes, knowing that in the canon, the ’68 movie I saw as a kid, you know what that world is about. That was the beginning. So this leads to the original film. How does that work? That is where it’s going. I did not want to go too far and miss how it developed.

He revealed at least Caeser talks more in this film and that it was a character he really connected to:

I wanted to extend what I thought was achieved so brilliantly, the emotional connection with Caesar, with a greater sense of realism in the world, the face of it and scale of it. Where the first movie ends on the precipice of a major shift about to happen in the world, I wanted to come into that story. It’s definitely a bigger ape world, but it still centered on Andy Serkis as Caesar, it’s his POV.

Reeves talked a lot about the use of motion capture and the evolution of the technology, but also that this film is largely set in the ape world:

The ape civilization is in the woods, between Vancouver and New Orleans, the world after what happens with the simian virus flu. The two main locales are San Francisco and the Muir Woods where the ape civilization is born. We’ll be doing a little shooting in San Francisco as well. A lot of the Louisiana shooting was to build huge wood sets outside in the woods to add realism, enormous exterior streets. We’re shooting in the rain, in the wind, all on location out in the open in the elements.

Head over to Indiewire to read much more about the film, and check back Saturday for a report on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from Comic-Con.

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