Director Matt Reeves has revealed the classic films that have had an influence on the third installment of 20th Century Fox’s reboot of The Planet of the Apes franchise.
Following the critical and commercial of success Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which managed to take $710 million at the worldwide box office, Reeves was brought back to helm the sequel, War for the Planet of the Apes which finds the apes left without a choice to fight when a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson) leads humanity into a war to take back the Earth.
As part of Entertainment Weekly’s summer movie preview, Reeves explained that after the success of Dawn, the studio surprisingly gave him and screenwriter Mark Bomback the necessary amount of time to craft a worthy successor:
“They actually gave us time. Mark and I began by doing the thing everybody thinks writers do, but they don’t, because there’s never time. We talked about our lives. We talked about history stories. And then we watched a lot of movies.”
Reeves went on to reveal the films that inspired overall feel of War for the Planet of the Apes:
“We watched Bridge on the River Kwai. We watched The Great Escape. We watched Biblical epics, because I really felt like this movie had to have a Biblical aspect to it. We watched Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments. We didn’t go, like, ‘Let’s take a little bit of this, a little bit of that.’ When you surround yourself with something that feels emotionally right, there are connections that make sense to you that somebody else might not see…[the films] informed the vibe we felt about this thing.”
Reeves specifically compared the relationship between Caesar and the vicious Colonel to Alec Guinness and the prison camp Colonel played by Sessue Hayakawain in Bridge on the River Kwai which finds the two men in conflict with one another ultimately come to respect each other.
But the director also expressed that War is about the journey Caesar goes on to find the Colonel, which he likened to Clint Eastwood’s war-weary soldier in The Outlaw Josey Wales which follows a Missouri farmer who joins up with a Confederate guerilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.
As for the Biblical influences, Reeves explained that the film is “about his [Caesar’s] mythic ascension,” and “the battle for his soul that cements his position as the key figure in early Ape history.”
In addition, EW has also premiered a brand new image from the upcoming film featuring Harrelson as the Colonel alongside a gorilla. You can check it out below
The film stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Ty Olson, and Alessandro Juliani. Here’s the official synopsis:
In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters July 14, 2017.
2017 Summer Movie Preview: What To Look Out For
What do aliens, robots, superheroes, pirates, genetically-modified apes, and Will Ferrell all have in common? All of them will be visiting theaters this summer, most as perennials of the blockbusters sphere. There’s a cavalcade of riches this summer, with new offerings from both DC and Marvel, new (and in some cases, final) installments in long-running franchises, and a couple newcomers testing the waters for future sequels. Even some non-theatrical films get in on the fun, like Netflix’s War Machine starring Brad Pitt.
Here are over 20 films worth seeing over the next four months. Click Next to start!