WonderCon 2014 : DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Press Conference – We Are Movie Geeks

Featured Articles

WonderCon 2014 : DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Press Conference

By  | 


DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES might not come out until July 11th, but excitement for the film is certainly growing. This weekend, at WonderCon 2014, 20th Century Fox invited WAMG to participate in a small press conference with Director Matt Reeves, Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis, and Keri Russell. Check it out below!

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.


What was your first experience or memory of PLANET OF THE APES? 

GARY OLDMAN : Really, you look back and I can’t imagine a sort of childhood without [The Original] PLANET [OF THE APES]. I was nine – ten when the first one came out. It’s not only the opportunity to work with these good people, you’re also being asked to be part of cinema history. So, that was above and beyond the story. You’re involved with something, for the most part, that comes with a very good pedigree. I mean, it went a little wobbly for a while but we’re back on track. [Laughs]

ANDY SERKIS : I’ve never really distinguished whether they be live-action or performance capture. I’ve played many different roles, and Gary’s done the same. You don’t alter your performance cause you’re using a different camera to film you.

GARY OLDMAN : The question that’s often asked is, “What is it like working with Andy Serkis as the Ape? You’re better to answer that since you’ve got all the big scenes with him.”  I come to work and I get into a costume and Andy comes to work and gets into a costume. So, at least you can see his face, you can see the eyes and you see the emotion. I would actually rather that than – if you were wearing a mask then the question might be “What’s it like working with someone who’s behind a mask?”  but you’re not.

KERI RUSSELL : It’s Andy. It’s not anything other than a really talented actor. I’m seeing Andy’s eyes and hearing his voice, hearing him talk about his family. That’s the exact same as any other scene.

 ANDY SERKIS: And in this film, there’s brilliant performances across the board. A load of talent actors playing apes as well. It is an ensemble piece.


What were your first thoughts when you decided to take this project on? It must have been a dream come true!

MATT REEVES : It was a dream, and it was terrifying. What essentially happened on the project was that I had a great affinity for RISE [OF THE PLANET OF THE APES]. It was really moving. When they approached me it turned out that for a number of reasons he [Rupert Wyatt] didn’t want to do it. The idea was carrying forward what happens in RISE [OF THE PLANET OF THE APES]…  the emotional heart of those apes. It seems to me the co-existence between these two populations that were struggling for survival, and the thing that was really important to me is that we carry forward the apes in an emotional way that you can relate to. We take the humans and really, in a way that was different from RISE [OF THE PLANET OF THE APES], take those humans and depict them in a way where they aren’t villains either. There are no villains in our story. It’s all about survival, and trying to find the way to sort of master our nature and impulses within us.

How did you decide on which direction to take the film? 

MATT REEVES: We already know what happens, so the story isn’t immediately about the ‘what happens’. It’s about the ‘how it happens’. I had a screenwriting instructor many years ago who talked to me about stories, and he said “There are the kind of story that are about the ‘what’ and then there are the stories that are about the ‘why’. If you already know what happened then it becomes about the ‘why’. The ‘why’ is about psychology and about character, and that is what I find interesting. I wanted to start earlier because there is a long and interesting path all about the lives of these people, and how they’re affected by this situation. The idea would be that the next phase of this story is how those lives continue in this struggle.


What is your band of humans about? What is your mission?

GARY OLDMAN : Initially, we don’t know that there are apes there cause this community has survived the flu. The epidemic that has sort of wiped out a part of the world. We believe the military had done their job, and that, basically, they have wiped out the apes. The thing is we have food, we have water, but the currency is, for lack of a better word, electricity. That’s the currency, and we need that to communicate to the outside world to eventually find out if there is anyone out there, or how many are out there… who is out there. We believe, for all intents and purposes, that we could be the only survivors. Then, we discover a community of apes who are all doing their thing with their family, and we’ve all been wiped out. And, of course we discover each other. The drama is: Can the apes and the human coexist?

MATT REEVES : For me, it’s really the story of two families. There’s a human family, and an ape family… and that’s what the colony is. That’s the human family. The difference is that the apes… they’re on the ascendancy. The idea is… we start in this ape world, and we’re following their development. It sort of mirrors our own sort of tribal development as language is coming into being. You’re seeing all of the bonds that have formed, and the next generation that is coming, and the civilization they’re building. They’re really on the way up, but the humans… they have just had the most massive sort of tragedy that has happened to them, and they are a family that’s trying to heal itself. So, these two families have to survive, and the stakes are all about the things that they care about. Also, there is the question for the humans… deeply… about what it is that they’ve lost. The idea for the humans in this story is what it took to still be here, and what was lost along the way. What’s worth fighting for at this point? All of those questions, I think, are emotional questions. So, the emotional depth of that was really important to me so that this was not “Oh, let’s see the apes destroy the humans! I can’t wait!” That’s not what this story is about. That’s really the struggle… the struggle about what are these two families going to do to avoid killing each other?




DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES hits theaters July 11


Nerdy, snarky horror lover with a campy undertone. Goonies never say die.