Movies

Moral dilemma in new movie

Matt Reeves is best known as the director of Cloverfield (2008) and Let Me In (2010). With Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, he entered the reletively new territory of performance capture.

The sequel to 2011's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes takes place 10 years after Caesar (Andy Serkis) freed a colony of apes from captivity and created a safe haven for his kind in the forest. That is, until humans threaten to destroy their community.

The US director, 48, talks about directing the movie and his admiration for Serkis.

On choosing to direct Dawn

I was obsessed with the original Planet Of The Apes (1968) as a kid, and I love what they did on Rise. I realised that with Rise, you actually turn the audience into an ape, because emotionally, you become Caesar. I was blown away.

On collaborating with Serkis

He is a joy to work with.

He's as good an actor as I've ever worked with. I think he's a genius. I'm capturing a performance that is profound and emotional.

I remember we were doing a blocking rehearsal for a very emotional scene. We were just trying to find out where everyone should stand, as a start.

At the end of the rehearsal, I looked over at Andy's eyes, and he had been crying throughout the whole scene - in character. All we were doing is blocking. I thought: "This man is never not in it. Never not committed".

On what is at the heart of Dawn

Rise, because of the set-up, you're rooting for Caesar, and the humans are just a little more simply drawn.

They're not as complex as they could be.

We're trying to take that a step further to include a moral dilemma here. There's a real question that's not as simple as humans are bad, apes are good. This is about the nature of both of them, and their own struggle for survival.

And there is that question of violence. You're wondering, "Can they avoid this descending into violence? Can these two populations avoid turning against each other?"