Hail Caesar! ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Director Matt Reeves Shares Secrets and Talks San Diego Comic-Con 2013

Never mind that the movie is still shooting, never mind the July 14th release date, fans of the brainiac, wunderkind primate Caesar and his band of merry apes are more than willing to see whatever it is Matt Reeves wants to show us, fragmented and incomplete partial CGI be damned. SDCC 2013 knows no bounds.

Quick recap for the uninitiated. The sequel will keep on the storyline of the first film and carry on from the 15 year point since the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Humans want to stop the simians ‘apes in charge’ train and so, of course, it’s on and it’s apes vs. man yet again. Did mankind not learn from round one in Rise of the Apes that evolution opens a can of revolution and gives its opponent a thorough beat down all day, any day? Is this what’s in store for #TeamHumanity in Caesar’s Apes-ville in round two?


And what about those secrets I lured you here with? Matt Reeves was in the mood to spill secrets about apes, technology, Comic-Con, and his passion for the Apes franchise. I’ve included the highlights from Indie Wire’s Anne Thompson exclusive interview with the Dawn of the Palnet of the Apes director. In a nutshell, here’s what Matt Reeves had to share:

“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.

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.

Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'.

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.”

So Reeves wants to give us more of Caesar’s heart which is what connected us to the first film. But he also wants to dazzle us with Caesar’s innate vocal stylings and gift for gab. Awes-mazing. And it’s an ape’s world as far as the eye can see. Aren’t you glad that Reeves wants to repeat the art of slow embraced by Wyatt and give primate prodigy Caesar and his smart but wild bunch the build their story deserves?

Not too shabby if you ask me. It’s clear that those ‘lowdown dirty Apes’ are at it again. And we definitely want more Caesar. So say it with me, “Hail Caesar!” because the power of that primate is astounding.

I’m sure we’ll go wild when the film apes into theaters July 18, 2014. Twentieth Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes panel, director and cast, will unfold in Hall H this Saturday, July 20.We’ll have sneak peek reactions so stay tuned.

Official website for Dawn of the Planets of the ApesApes2014.com