There's a mix of science and science fiction in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it's hard to discuss the specific blend without wandering into spoilers. Suffice to say, the film features an entire cast of characters who are changing, and rapidly, and from what we know from the original films in the series, sooner or later they're going to be able to speak.
But how soon?
This week's Q&A podcast from Jeff Goldsmith features Rise's screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. As well as confirming that they're currently at work writing the next installment, they do discuss, a little, one of the key creative decisions they're having to make for Part Two.
Inidentally, Jaffa says that the title for the next film is Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Part Two and he may be joking, though it doesn't sound like it as much as he's just not wanting to reveal anything. Still, there's an inference, I think, that the new story will be catching up with the apes while they're still very much on the ascendency.
Here's Silver, raising one of the key questions surrounding the next installment:
We're working on the sequel right now, to the prequel, and so the excitement is – I'm not gonna tell you, but – are they gonna talk or not? Part of the challenge was how to get across what was happening between the apes without words. In the end I think it was a good challenge for us. It created better storytelling.
Hmmm. Just reading into that, and perhaps far more than I should be, my hunch would be that the apes are going to learn to speak as the second film goes along. It's a rich area and I think there's a lot of story in it.
What this means, I think, is more key ape roles for actors, perhaps including some motion capture debutantes. The casting could get very interesting.
Elsewhere in the podcast there's much talk of the dialogue-free storytelling, not to mention the long history and transformation of the film's script, it's particular narrative quirks, the interweaving of Apes mythology and plenty more.
Goldsmith's podcast is, overall, the best one out there and this episode is one of my favourites in some time.