WonderCon 2014: Matt Reeves Gives Insights on ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Plot

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes WonderCon Press ConferenceDawn of the Planet of the Apes WonderCon Press Conference

Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, Keri Russell and director Matt Reeves appeared at WonderCon 2014 this weekend to talk about the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in theaters on July 11. During the press conference, the cast and director discussed the larger scope and how their characters fit in to the universe. Learn more after the break.

As you may have observed, the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Rupert Wyatt, is not involved with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. According to Reeves, Rupert was not in agreement with the studio’s vision of the sequel and the schedule was too tight. When Reeves was introduced to the project, this is what he pitched:

“The idea was, what I would be interested in is carrying forward really what was established in Rise, which is the emotional part of those apes and how it turns into – look we all know this turns into Planet of the Apes – so it seemed to me that this was a moment where you could actually explore that question the coexistence between these two populations that were struggling for survival. And the thing that was really important to me was that we carry forward the apes in an emotional way that you could relate to and that we take the humans – and even in a way that was really different from rise – take those humans and depict them in a way where they weren’t villains either. There are no villains in our story, it’s all about survival and trying to find a way to sort of master our nature.”

From what we come to understand from the awesome teaser trailer is that DOTPOTA takes place 10 years after the events of Rise. We haven’t learned much about the new human characters, but Gary Oldman shed some light on the subject:

“Well, initially we don’t know that there are apes because this community has survived the epidemic, which has sort of wiped out a huge part of the world. We believe that the military has done their job and wiped out the apes. We have food and we have water, but the currency in the movie, I guess for lack of a better word, is electricity. That’s the currency. And we need that to communicate to the outside world to actually find out if there is anyone out there, or how many are out there, or who is out there.”

Matt Reeves continues to delve deeper into the cohabitation of this new world between apes and humans:

“For me the idea was that it’s really a story of two families. There’s a human family and there is an ape family. And the difference is that the apes, they’re on the ascendancy. The idea is that we start in this ape world and we’re following their development, and in ways it sort of mirrors our sort of tribal development. Then you see as language is coming into being, you’re seeing all of the bonds that have been formed, the next generation that have come in, and civilization that they’re building. They’re really on the way up. But the humans, the colony, they have just had this massive sort of tragedy happen to them, and they are a family that is trying to heal itself. And so these two families have to find some way to survive, and the stakes are all about the things they care about. Also there’s the question for the humans about what it is they have lost. The idea in this story for the humans is what it took to even still be here, what was lost along the way, and what’s worth fighting for at this point.”

I am one to admit that Rise definitely took me by surprise and really developed the mythology of the franchise. The performance by Serkis and the questions the film raised were well thought out and executed brilliantly. Without the element of surprise this time around, it seems as though Reeves has a strong grasp as to what Wyatt had envisioned and how to keep the story before Planet of the Apes captivating enough for audiences to return to and champion.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters everywhere on July 11, 2014.

Check out more news from WonderCon 2014 by following the WCA 2014 tag.

You can follow me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

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