2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes showed Caesar rising up to lead his fellow apes, after being held in captivity at a lab. This year's sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is set 15 years after the first film, with Caesar building a burgenoning community for his fellow apes in the woods near San Francisco. When asked about the third Planet of the Apes installment, Matt Reeves said that it will continue showing the path Caesar took to becoming a great ape leader.
"The first one is sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary. In Dawn, he really rose to the occasion of becoming a leader in really challenging and difficult times. The notion of what we're after with the third is to sort of continue that trajectory and see how he becomes a seminal figure in ape history. He almost becomes sort of like an ape Moses. A mythic status... We're trying to play out those themes and continue to sort of explore it in this universe. Exploring human nature under the guise of apes."
The filmmaker, who is currently writing the script with Mark Bomback, already confirmed in July that this sequel won't jump forward in time. Some have speculated that the third installment will showcase a full-blown war between humanity and the apes. While that story line isn't confirmed, Matt Reeves did talk about how Andy Serkis' Caesar is essentially an "outsider" in both the ape and human world.
"A thing I always found very moving was the concept of a character that was [an outsider]. Andy (Serkis) told me the way he played him and the thing that really moved me was that [Caesar] was really all about being an outsider. [He] said that [he] felt [he] was human until the one day it was made clear that that [he isn't]. [He] said it felt like heartbreak. Like, 'Oh, I'm not one of them!' Then he's thrown in with the apes, but he's not one of them either. He's an outsider to both. That was very moving to me because he's an outsider to both but connected to both. He is the unique character in this story to be able to connect between the human and the ape world."
20th Century Fox has already handed out a July 29, 2016 release date for Planet of the Apes 3. Stay tuned for more updates as we inch closer and closer to this sequel's release.