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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes original ending and plans for the sequel

July 16th, 2014 by Marc 2 Comments

With Dawn of the Planets of the Apes getting rave reviews – we’ll have ours on very soon and yes, it’s superb – and about to hit the UK this weekend, there’s a lot of talk going on about it and what might come next…


Screenwriter Mark Bomback spoke with The Q&A Podcast (via Darkhorizons) about how the movie was originally going to end: “The point of change happens after Caesar and Koba’s final face-off. The decision was made not very long ago to do the current film’s ending, a quiet moment between Malcolm and Caesar with the pair saying goodbye before pushing in on Caesar’s eyes. Originally though, we were going to see the apes retreat back to Muir Woods as a military battleship approached San Francisco.

“There was always a queasiness when we did it. For one thing, the people on the battleship we don’t know. It’s weird to end your movie with strangers and also we knew we were locking into a scenario for the next one. Why do we want to lock in?

I’m guessing when Dreyfus said there was a military base up north that’s coming, that will play a role in what we do next. I don’t know, does it need to? On a purely character level, it’s Caesar’s story. Why are we leaving Caesar at the end of his story? We want to end on his emotional place, not on a battleship.”

The director, Matt Reeves, spoke about the ending to Slashfilm: “I realized that we had skipped too much of the emotion by doing that. And that it actually in a way boxed us in too much to like the exact moment that felt like and also when we started showing this to people, some people are going wait, so does that mean the battle… like I meant for those ships to be way in the distance and they hadn’t even seen the apes, because obviously the apes weren’t gathering to begin the fight. The apes were gathering to look and see the fight that was coming toward them.

“It was hard to render that idea. And when I showed it to some people they were like going, so that’s it? They’re gonna start fighting right now? And I was like well no, and I realized that we didn’t have the right ending. So actually that last beat that is the last beat on Andy, this is actually kind of a cool thing too”.

Moving beyond the end of the movie, there’s much talk about what will happen next and a sequel seems very likely, but will it lead into the Charlton Heston original movie? Reeves, talking with CinemaBlend, seems reluctant to simply do the obvious: “I think some people assume that we’re going to get back to the ’68 film, like, next. And actually… no. To me, the cool thing – people have asked me, ‘Isn’t it boring, because you know how it’s going to end?’

“And I say that’s the best part about it. This world is nothing like that world. How do we get from here to there? Instead of being a story about ‘what,’ it becomes a story about how and why, which is all about character.

“And if this is Caesar’s story, and the story of the mythic character that he becomes, then as we know in the apes timeline, Caesars begat other Caesars, and it’s a generational story. This is an epic journey toward the trajectory of that story.

“It could be many movies. I think there are a lot of interesting stories that come, not only from Caesar, but from what comes after Caesar, his children, and his children’s children. What happens when humans return? All of those stories… it’s so rich.

“And I think that it’s so cool that we know how it ends without knowing how we get there. Because that becomes the fuel for these stories. So it’s not going to be next, for sure. We are going to take a while to get there.”

Are you excited for this story to keep going? Or are you bored of Apes? Let us know… @NerdFollowing or Facebook 

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….