Amid Marvel's multi-phase plans for global domination, adopted earthlings smashing up Metropolis and X-Men gearing up for another epic mutant outing, it's easy to overlook another franchise that is currently sitting pretty. It's been a case of softly, softly, catchee monkey... well, apee, for Planet Of The Apes, but expect that to change swiftly. With Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes looking to build on the success of its rebooting predecessor - $480 million worldwide - director Matt Reeves has taken to the airwaves to shed some light on what's in store for Caesar and co.
"We'll see how Caesar becomes this leader," Reeves told Indiewire of the sequel. "The apes story is a through-the-looking-glass way of looking at what we are. By what's going on in the internal lives of the apes we are exploring ourselves, our impulses, our society. So much is roiling inside [him]. He has a rational side separate from the apes - they're all instinct."
Reeves, who took on the Apes baton from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Rupert Wyatt, enthused about Andy Serkis's knack for bringing the mo-capped ape to life ("We all know he's a genius") and Weta Digital's fast-advancing tech. "I want it to feel as if we're making an epic film", he said, "[and] very grounded, [so] we're lighting with real light, and we're putting the effects that are so amazing in Rise and Avatar into this environment. Making the effects emotional in real life increases the illusion. But it's a complicated thing to take these crazy digital cameras in these crazy locations."
Serkis is joined by Toby Kebbell as Caesar's fellow ape, Koba, as well as a human cast that boasts Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Judy Greer and Jason Clarke. "I want to make sure to bring to the human characters the same level of emotional depth as the apes," stresses the director. "I can't give too much away, I'm hiding a little bit. I'm going back to shooting apes climbing trees in the woods."
As for plot pointers, Reeves, unsurprisingly, is keeping his cards close. Check back for much more on the film in Empire's Comic-Con coverage.