I was very impressed by Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. For a remake, it was much more creative and well-acted than it needed to be, and Andy Serkis’s motion-capture performance as intelligent ape Caesar was far and away one of the strongest performances from that year. So, I’m very excited to see what Let Me In helmer Matt Reeves brings to the series in this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which rejoins Caesar a decade after the events of Rise, during which a deadly simian virus began to spread through the world.
Gary Oldman stars in the sequel as a human leader struggling to survive in a dilapidated San Francisco after the fall of human civilization precipitated by the virus, and he recently revealed some significant details about how Dawn unfolds during an interview promoting another excellent reboot, this week’s RoboCop. Speaking with MTV, Oldman gave details about his character, named Dreyfus:
He’s the sort of designated leader if you will of this community of those that were lucky enough to survive the simian flu, the disease, and then the ensuing social uprising from it…. And they need power and there’s a power station and some of my people go out to see if it’s operational, if it’s still out there, and then they discover that there’s a whole community of apes living there. We believed they were all completely fire-bombed and wiped out…
On the contrary, Caesar and his ape army have only been going stronger since the fall of mankind. He now has a wife (Judy Greer), offspring and a position of immense power as the leader of the apes. Dreyfus and his crew come into conflict with Caesar and the apes when they uncover a secret that could give them the upper hand in the conflict. Dreyfus, for one, isn’t interested in peace.
He’s experienced a great loss, personally, and there’s only one answer for him and that’s to wipe [the apes] out. I see him as a sort of the hero of the piece.
The other humans, including Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee, get time in the spotlight as well. While Rise focused on Caesar’s origins, Dawn will apparently explore the difficulties of being a human in a world now controlled by apes.
Matt Reeves was more interested in not just keeping the franchise alive but he wanted to make it more of a human story, he wanted to explore what had happened and keep it more focused to the human side of it before the story becomes the ‘Planet of the Apes’ as we know it from the first one, from the original.
Reeves hasn’t done a big-budget action movie, per se, though he did direct the found-footage creature feature Cloverfield, which gives me hope that the action sequences we see in Dawn will be equally innovative and terrifying. Reeves also penned the script here, as he did for Let Me In. Fox was evidently happy enough with the work they’ve seen from the director so far to sign him for a third installment, which can only bode well for the sequel.
Are you ready for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? And who will you be rooting for in the film: Oldman’s humans or Serkis’ apes? Let us know below.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes arrives on July 11, 2014.