There were plenty of casualties in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but it seems one of them might make it to the next film anyway.
The second flick in the rebooted Apes continuity was one of the summer's most acclaimed films, and it set the stage for an even greater conflict for the third installment. Any chance of peace between humans and apes seems to be lost, and lead ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) ends the film reluctantly prepared for the war that's to come. For much of Dawn, though, Caesar's greatest adversary wasn't the humans; it was fellow ape and friend-turned-foe Koba (Toby Kebbell). When the film opens, Koba is Caesar's chief lieutenant, but the darkness of his past -- including brutal experiments from humans -- drives him to crave violent revenge, and eventually even Caesar can't hold him back.
By the time Dawn ends, a reinvigorated Caesar has thrown Koba to his death, but is it possible the rogue ape survived the fall? Could Koba come back to menace Caesar and his fellow apes again? In an interview with the Chinese website M Time, it was apparently pointed out to Dawn director Matt Reeves (who'll be back for part three) that we never actually see Koba's body, and he was asked if Koba's end was designed to allow him to come back. Here's his (translated) answer:
"You're one of the few people to ever mention that. That's pretty funny. Because I struggled with – I thought that Toby Kebbell gave such an incredible performance. And I thought he was so powerful and I thought God you don't find a villain who has got that great a story. Because as you said he was not really formed as a villain, he's really a tragic figure. And I thought God, he's amazing let's leave open the possibility, let's create the door of a possibility if we find a story that becomes worth telling that we can go down that path again because I thought the vein was so rich. And so I actually had been working on a version where you could actually see him survive and I realized that it wasn't – it was Caesar's movie and it was undercutting the whole idea. It sort of felt cheap. And so as we were mixing I was like I want to just leave one tiny Easter egg right at the end. I want to leave open the door just the tiniest crack. So you found the crack."
So, it seems Koba's slightly ambiguous final scene was very deliberate indeed. Reeves doesn't go so far as to confirm the character's return, but the fragmenting ape society in Dawn was one of the film's most powerful elements, and we likely haven't seen the end of disagreements among that group. Will Koba return to lead a civil war against Caesar?
(Via Badass Digest)