Dawn of the Planet of the Apes aimed for spring 2014 release

Due for release in May of 2014, the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be directed by the very talented newcomer Matt Reeves who also directed Cloverfield (2008) and Let Me In (2010), which was a remake of the excellent Swedish teen vampire movie, Let the Right One In (2008).

Rise of the Planet of the Apes successfully rebooted the popular Planet of the Apes movies with an emotionally grounded story using the motion capture CG technology used in Avatar (2009), instead of people in costumes used in the original 1960s and 70s series. Director Rupert Wyatt was proud when he claimed that the filmmakers were dedicated to bringing a powerful and authentic emotional experience to the film.

With Matt Reeves now helming the new sequel, which is set fifteen years after the events of the previous film, it looks to be in good hands and anticipation is high for fans that are looking forward to another great Apes movie.

Even more encouraging is the news that Mark Bomback is rewriting the screenplay originally written by Scott Burns who also wrote Contagion (2011). Bomback is the screenwriter for such recent blockbuster films as Total Recall (2012), Unstoppable (2010) and Live Free or Die Hard (2007). He also wrote the upcoming X-Men film The Wolverine (2013).

Andy Serkis who has made a career out of playing CG characters such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 – 2003), King Kong in Peter Jackson’s remake King Kong (2005) and Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin (2011), will again reprise the title role of the simian rebel leader Ceasar. Also just signed on to star in the film as a human character, is Australian actor Jason Clarke who was recently seen in Zero Dark Thirty (2012) as an interrogator. 

With such high caliber talent working on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I’ll be looking forward to a very exciting summer next year. But with the film only in pre-production and scheduled to start shooting this spring, Matt Reeves is now under the gun and has only a little over one year to do what most directors would need two or three years to do. Some people, including the original director Rupert Wyatt, have already voiced concerns that the tight schedule is just not enough time to produce the same standard of quality, especially with the large amount of CG effects work that these films require. Rupert left the project due to creative differences with the studio. 

Is 20th Century Fox rushing this film out because they don’t want to compete with the likes of Star Wars: Episode VII and Avatar 2, both scheduled for release in the summer of 2015? If so, there will be a lot of pressure to complete this new installment in the hugely popular Planet of the Apes franchise by next year. Is this new prequel series living up to the legacy of its predecessors, which maximized profits with each sequel by being made with less and less time and money, resulting in the deterioration of each subsequent film?

Changing directors during pre-production is never a good sign and rushing to get this film out in half the time needed could hurt the film. Steven Soderbergh, who recently retired from making big feature films, and other directors like George Lucas have complained for years about the corporate Hollywood studio’s arrogance, interference and lack of respect for the creative process of artists. That somehow the studios know better when it comes to what audiences want to see with focus groups and statistics, and that there’s no more room for the creative vision of the director. We might well be seeing the result of that here.



Jon Jefferson said...

The past few Apes movies that have come out have been enjoyable. I hope that this next one isn't ruined by rushing. The quest for money over substance has been known to ruin quite a few things.

Susan Cooper said...

I have enjoyed the past Planet of the apes and look forward to the newest coming out. It will be interesting to see if they can continue enthralling their audience or if it will fall flat as others have in their sequels. :-)

KWade said...

It seems like with a movie like this, even more than one that uses all real actors, production shouldn't be rushed if they hope to release a truly quality film. After seeing this kind of CG technology highlighted in a part of the Oscars last night, I really admire those who create these kinds of lifelike characters. But it certainly seems like it takes a ton of time and energy, which they should dedicate and not rush.

Morgan Decker said...

I have never seen the newer planet of the apes movies, but I watched the one filmed in the 60s the other day (it is on classic movies on Netflix until 3/1!) and it was wonderful, as I am sure the sequels were. It is a shame that they are trying to rush production of the film so it won't have to compete for box office goers, but I feel like that wouldn't be too much of an issue. If someone wants to see the film, they will see it despite the fact that there are four other movies in theaters that they are also interested in, I know I have splurged to go to the movies multiple times in one week to check out everything that I wanted to see!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Looking forward to it with trepidation. The studios pony up a lot of money to make these movies and I can understand their anxiety, still... they should really take a back seat and let the creative community ply their craft and trust their judgement.