Back in 2011, critics and audiences alike were blown away by Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. With its stellar character-driven story, groundbreaking motion-capture performance work, and fresh new twist on the mythos, the franchise no one was asking for was successfully rebooted.
Director Matt Reeves had his work cut out for him for the sequel, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, which picks up a few years after its predecessor. Against all odds, Reeves created what many believe is a superior film to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. The movie boasted superior visual effects, a riveting power struggle story, and fantastic motion-capture work -- and not just from Andy Serkis, but from all supporting ape performers (there is also some potential Oscar buzz for Serkis this year for his portrayal of Caesar). The film was also a financial hit, with over $700 million in sales at the box office worldwide, easily eclipsing the $170 million production budget.
Another Planet Of The Apes film was practically guaranteed and, nearly a year ago, the film was given a summer 2016 release date. Unfortunately, Joblo is now reporting that 20th Century Fox has pushed back the film to July 17, 2017, a full year after its original release date. The reason for the delay? Sadly, there is no official word on the reason. But while two years seems like sufficient time for a film project to go from development to completion, having a bit of extra breathing room can't hurt, especially if the filmmakers want the story to be as solid as possible. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was a solid successor to the first film, so it only makes sense they want to take the extra time to make a third movie worthwhile.
So what can this third movie be about? Last month, director Matt Reeves spoke with Coming Soon on what we can expect in Planet Of The Apes 3.
"The first one is sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary. 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."
This is a wonderful plan, though admittedly a very tricky one to execute. How will the filmmakers raise Caesar to such a mythic status without sacrificing a bit of his humanity? Perhaps it is questions like these that contributed to the film's delay.
Whatever the problems, Reeves and 20th Century Fox have plenty of time to figure it out. Are you looking forward to the new Planet Of The Apes film?
[Images Credit: 20th Century Fox, Overture Films, and Relativity Media]