During the NYCC panel for War for the Planet of the Apes, an audience member posed the question of “Is Koba dead” to director Matt Reeves, and producer Dylan Clark. Reeves seemed reluctant to say yes to the question, an easy answer should the character actually be deceased. Clark however had a more definite response:
Yet Reeves still seemed to be unsure and was bothered by Clark’s definitive answer regarding the subject. The response was interesting, as no straight answer was given by Reeves, leaving the possibility for Koba’s return in the future. What we do know for sure is Koba’s presence will be felt heavily by Caesar in the film, and maybe the idea of Koba is what survived rather than Koba himself. As the film takes place two years after Dawn, the war has been raging for quite some time now and Caesar has felt many losses on the apes side. Due to this, he is in a very low place when the movie begins.
“Caesar will come to understand why Koba felt the way he did, and the question is whether [Caesar] can overcome the darkness within him when Koba could not,” said Reeves. “The war in this movie is both within and out of Caesar.”
“Caesar loses empathy in this movie, it’s the most psychologically intense of the three for him,” said Andy Serkis.
“His desire for revenge becomes obsessive, he reaches a threshold of internal struggle,” said Reeves.
War for the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters July 14, 2017.