I like surprises, and nothing in 2011 surprised me more than Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I have reservations on a sequel only because expectations have set a much higher bar for director Rupert Wyatt and company. To their credit, the involved parties are seemingly sticking to a straightforward continuation opposed to hampering themselves with needless bullshit – like time travel. You’ll remember that time travel was an important factor in the original franchise – Escape from the Planet of the Apes went as far as Cornelius, Zira, and Dr. Milo shooting back to present day in a time warp.
But what served a purpose for the franchise then wouldn’t necessarily work now. Though it’s been rumored, there’s no need to introduce time travel this early in Caesar’s renewed arc. Especially given the shift in perspective from humans to apes (something that didn’t come until later in the earlier films). In an interview with Total Film (via ComicBookMovie), screenwriter/producer Rick Jaffa confirms as much:
“I don’t foresee that. But it’s interesting you should ask that, because it’s the one big element that we made a conscious decision not to explore in the first one, and we were worried that there might be some backlash in the science fiction community because of it. When the story first came together we were very, very excited, and yet before we pitched it, I thought, ‘The one thing missing though is time travel. But it’s not necessary for this particular telling’. And I don’t really foresee it, to tell you the truth.”
So there, no time travel in Dawn. A wise choice in my estimation, and one that hopefully confirms the filmmakers have a singular story to tell and are sticking to it. Even if seeing Caesar-Serkis in the 25th Century is a bucket list wish of mine, I think I can hold off for a while.
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