With Dawn and Rise of the Planet of the Apes successes, the franchise is back in business in a big way, and Matt Reeves, who directed the latest entry, is returning for the next film. While flogging the home video release of Dawn Reeves talked a bit about where the future of the franchise lies, and what is coming next for Caesar, the hero of the rebooted series.
"The first one is sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary," says Reeves. "In 'Dawn,' he really rose to occasion of becoming a leader in really challenging and difficult times. The notion of what we're after with the third is to sort of continue that trajectory and see how he becomes a seminal figure in ape history. He almost becomes sort of like an ape Moses. A mythic status... We're trying to play out those themes and continue to sort of explore it in this universe. Exploring human nature under the guise of apes."
Moses is a particularly strong parallel (although, to be fair, not as strong as in the original films, where baby Caesar is specifically spirited away to safety). Like Moses, Caesar stands outside both his adopted people and his community by birthright.
"A thing I always found very moving was the concept of a character that was [an outsider]," Reeves adds. "Andy [Serkis] told me the way he played him and the thing that really moved me was that [Caesar] was really all about being an outsider. [He] said that [he] felt [he] was human until the one day it was made clear that that [he isn't]. [He] said it felt like heartbreak. Like, 'Oh, I'm not one of them!' Then he's thrown in with the apes, but he's not one of them either. He's an outsider to both. That was very moving to me because he's an outsider to both but connected to both. He is the unique character in this story to be able to connect between the human and the ape world."
I'm hoping for the best from the third film; Reeves was able to work magic on Dawn, a movie he came to very late. With actual prep time he should be able to make the next film an entry that rivals the original movies (which are still the best ones).