We got a chance to speak to the legendary filmmaking couple on the red carpet of their latest film “War for the Planet of the Apes” out this Friday.
Few people get the opportunity to be a part of a legendary franchise in Hollywood history. Fewer so get to be a part of more than one. However, Rick Jaffa and his wife Amanda Silver are a part of three currently and show no signs of stopping. With the latest Planet of the Apes coming to theaters, Avatar about to make a massive resurgence, and Jurassic World in full bloom, the power couple have certainly been busy making all of our lives that much more entertaining. We got a chance to talk with them about their upcoming Planet of the Apes film on the red carpet of the New York Premiere. We got to learn more about what drew them to the franchise, where they could see it going in the future, as well as details about the upcoming films they’re working on, from Avatar to Mulan.
Check out our exclusive interview with them below:
Why Planet of the Apes? What first attracted you to this film series?
Amanda: Caesar. You came up with the character of Caesar-
Rick: Well I grew up a big Planet of the Apes fan, especially the first one. We had been reading a lot of articles about chimpanzees that have been raised in homes as children and how it always ended badly and for years we were trying to figure out a way to make a movie out of that and we weren’t sure what it was. We kinda of created the character of Caesar and it kind of clicked. We thought, wait a minute, this could be Planet of the Apes. So it just kinda of exploded from there. The story came about very quickly and we’ve done the three films in basically 9 years, which is pretty amazing. We’re very lucky. We love Rod Serling who wrote the first Planet of the Apes. There’s something about the science fiction of it all that can help up really relate to the apes and their struggles. So the truth is there’s a lot of things that draw you to the Apes series.
Three films into the series and it looks like there’s no conclusion. Where do you see this series going in the future?
Amanda: When we conceived of this, we always thought it ends with colonel Taylor on that beach.
Rick: The fact that we’ve been so fortunate that people responded, there’s so many ways to go with the series, what could be the next trilogy. So there’s a lot more story to tell. As long as it keeps moving forward, we’ll be good.
You worked on a lot of major epic films, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, Mulan, Avatar. How did this film compare to those?
Amanda: This one was very personal because we kind of raised Caesar from a little chimp. In our heads and in our hearts.
Rick: My kids feel like they grew up with Caesar. They’d get birthday presents from Caesar, Christmas presents from Caesar, so he really has been like a member of our family. We’ve been really fortunate because there are so many ways these movies can go wrong. We just kept getting lucky breaks and the right people and Andy and Matt and WETA.
Amanda: None of it would have been possible if these things didn’t come together.
You have a lot of interesting movies coming up. Can you give any news about Mulan or Avatar?
Rick: Sure. Well Avatar we’re going to start to shoot September 25th doing performance capture. We’re very excited about that.
Amanda: All four scripts are incredible. Jim Cameron is a such a fantastic story teller.
Rick: We love working with him. He’s really smart, he’s very generous, he’s a great guy and a true visionary. Each movie stands alone but it comes together as one big saga. And Mulan we hope to go into production the beginning of next year. We’re casting it now and Niki Caro is directing it. She’s fantastic. We love her.
How was working with Matt Reeves as compared to James Cameron and some of your other directors?
Amanda: They’re both wonderful.
Rick: They all bring a different style and energy to it. It’s hard to really compare them … I will say Matt is one of the hardest working, stick to it, has a vision, he’s a leader by example and he’s just so passionate. It’s kind of like being a little kid again, with the brain and the body of an adult. Just an incredible guy to work with.