War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves says the story isn't over, but the original film won't be remade. When Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes first hit theaters, no one was really sure what to expect. While positive feelings still remained for the series, despite Tim Burton's much-maligned reboot, no one quite knew whether a prequel would work. In the end, Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar turned the movie into a sleeper hit.
From there, Matt Reeves took over for Dawn and this year's War, fleshing out the Caeser story and capping off the ape leader's trilogy. The latest film is already being hailed as one of the best blockbusters in years—read our review—and looks to finish off the arc that began six years ago. Of course, with a hit franchise about an expansive world, there's always the question of whether the story will continue in spinoffs, prequels, and the like. For Reeves, that's certainly a possibility.
In an exclusive interview with Matt Reeves regarding War for the Planet of the Apes, we discussed what the new movie means for the franchise and where things might go on the road to the world we saw in the original film series.
We heard last year that there was a fourth movie in development but this movie seems to wrap up the story.
Well, what it does is take you through that Caesar-cycle but the continuation of the story, one of the things we were really careful to setup, was this notion that Bad Ape was a sign that there were other apes out there and how will Caesar’s apes [interact] with future society’s that might be elsewhere, that didn’t have the benefit of Caesar’s leadership? The world of this movie still doesn’t look like the world of the 68 movie. Caesar’s apes are not the same as the apes in that movie. So the idea is we’re kind of telling these giant, epic, almost chapter-after-chapter of a Russian Ape novel. Tolstoy of the Apes – how do we get to that 68 movie? So we think there’s a lot more stories. Yeah.
As Reeves is keen to point out, War will finish the story of Caesar but will also open the door for the future of the series. We've previously heard how Bad Ape is one of the potential jumping off points for a new movie and Reeves seems to think the juxtaposition between him and Caesar is what could lead to the world of the original film.
Still, just because there's a period to explore between the new films and the olds ones, Reeves doesn't simply want to redo the 1968 film.
Do you think there’s value in remaking the original?
No. I don’t think there’ll ever be a reason to remake the original. I think the idea is to tell all the stories that take you there and then there might be an entry point that’s a different story that resonates around that same time but you never want to remake that movie.
For Reeves, it seems that the original Planet of the Apes stands on its own and doesn't need to be rebooted. That said, there's still a long way to go between War and that film. Whether that means future movies or more tie-comics, it's not yet known. But with War for the Planet of the Apes arriving in theaters this week, we'll likely learn more about the future of the franchise soon.
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