“Getting there is half as fun as being there.”
Such a tired cliche. But one War For the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves lives by when it comes not only to thinking about his latest film in the franchise – which hits theaters next July – but the future of that very franchise.
Reeves is OK with that, however. In fact, he told SlashFilm‘s Angie Han he’s far more than OK with it.
“Because we know that that’s the ending, that is becomes Planet of the Apes, the cool thing about what was started in Rise is that it’s no longer about what happens. It’s about how it happens. And stories about how are always about character and psychology.
“So in our minds, the idea that’s the end of the story gives us the chance to tell an epic saga that leads from where Caesar began in Rise to that world. It’s not about getting there and then redoing that story. We think it’s like a great Russian novel or something, and it’s all about following Caesar on that journey, and the other apes, as it builds along that way.“
Following the events of Dawn in 2014, it seems the surviving humans and the apes still aren’t getting along. In fact, they are at war. And one battle decimated the apes so badly, Caesar – played by Andy Serkis – is forced to seek revenge.
The original Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprise success for Twentieth Century Fox, which had done little with the franchise since Tim Burton’s 2001 remake failed to win many hearts. The first film grabbed $481.1 million worldwide, and its sequel flew high above that to $708.8 million.
And the journey doesn’t end with War, Reeves said. It’s still going. Because the journey there really is the best part.
“Caesar’s apes are not like the apes in the Planet of the Apes, right? They’re very brutal to humans. That’s not what’s going on, so how did it happen? And you know that Caesar had such integrity, and that he has this sort of sense of right and wrong, of his morality, yet you watch that be challenged.
“He ends up having to kill one of his own. All of those things that give us a chance to explore human nature and do it in a way that is really fun. ‘Cause these are all, frankly, totally new stories. We’re not doing any stories that were done.”
War For the Planet of the Apes lands in theaters July 14.
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