Dawn of the Planet of the Apes released earlier this year to critical acclaim, holding 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and was a box office hit, recently surpassing the $700 million dollar mark. The upcoming sequel, as learned from an interview with director Matt Reeves, will have the ape Caesar reaching an almost mythical status, being compared to Moses:

“The first one is sort of how [Caesar] goes from humble beginnings to becoming a revolutionary,” says Reeves. “In ‘Dawn,’ he really rose to 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.”

Reeves then continues to discuss Serkis’ interpretation of Caesar as an “outsider”, and it’s importance to his character:

“A thing I always found very moving was the concept of a character that was [an outsider],” Reeves adds. “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.”

Andy Serkis has redefined what motion capture technology is capable of with his role as Caesar. Ever since Rise of the Planet of the Apes, people have felt Serkis deserves an Oscar nomination, and now Fox is pushing for it more than ever thanks to his performance in Dawn. The problem now is that industry officials are not quite sure which category he would fit into. After Rise came out there was even a movement to get the Oscars to add an entirely new category just for Serkis.

After a disastrous attempt at rebooting the franchise in 2001 with Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in 2011 to critical and commercial acclaim. The big story was Serkis’ performance, with many calling it the best part of the movie. Without any dialogue, Serkis was able to communicate the thoughts and emotions of the ape Caesar, and, in perhaps the most impressive aspect, was able to express Caesar’s growing awareness of his uniqueness and position as an outsider.

The new installment, which has drawn a lot of excitement, is set to be released July 29, 2016.