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DF Interview: Michael Moreci brings Dawn to the Planet of the Apes
By Byron Brewer
Caesar, Malcolm, Rita, Koba, Maurice, Rocket, Alex, even Ash are back in this latest mini-series recording the goings-on of one of film’s most beloved franchises, Planet of the Apes.
Writer Michael Moreci and artist Dan McDaid bring us Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in November as part of BOOM! Studios’ critically-acclaimed adaptations and original chronicling on them damn dirty apes!
Dynamic Forces met with Moreci in the Tree City and grilled him about this new LS. Here is what the human said.
Dynamic Forces: BOOM! Studios has become critically acclaimed for its Planet of the Apes comics and how closely they cling to the parent film franchise. How did you become involved in this particular six-issue limited series?
Michael Moreci: First of all, and I sincerely mean this, BOOM has an outstanding history of Apes comics. Daryl Gregory's run is one of my favorite comics in recent years, period. Hardman and Bechko also did tremendous work. For real, if you're a POTA fan or not, these comics are must-reads. That said, wow...I have some tough acts to follow. Thankfully, I'm the first to touch the “new” POTA mythology.
I'm not sure how exactly my name got brought into the conversation on BOOM's side. Maybe they knew what a POTA fan I am? Regardless, I'm thrilled my phone rang for this gig. Seriously, I love, love the POTA franchise.
And as a side note, we're only a limited series for now—if we get strong enough sales, there are plans for more issues. So please, make sure to have your LCS stock the book!
DF: Is this a comics adaptation of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?
Michael Moreci: It is not, actually. What we're doing is telling a story that bridges Rise to Dawn. There's eight years that happened between those two films, and we're giving a glimpse of what life was like for both the apes and the humans.
DF: Can you tell us a little more specifically about the storyline of the LS?
Michael Moreci: We have a dual story going on—the apes and their rising society and the humans and their crumbling society. The idea is to show how Caesar leads his apes into order and how Malcolm navigates a dangerous post-apocalyptic landscape to lead his family to safety. Both paths—society building and survival—are surprisingly similar and will test their leaders.
We have rebellions, ape battles, masked marauders, kidnappings, and more—don't miss it!
DF: Who are some of the characters you will be dealing with?
Michael Moreci: This is the fun part for me. On the apes side, we have all the favorites—Caesar, Koba, Maurice, Rocket, even Ash. And, believe me, it's been a blast writing these guys. I'm also introducing some new apes, including the menacing Pope, who play an important role in the story.
The human side focuses on Malcolm, his wife Rita, and their son, Alex. In the Dawn of the POTA movie, Rita has died—so, obviously, things can't be too promising for her.
DF: Did you do any research? Was it with what has come before with BOOM comics, or did you watch some of the films?
Michael Moreci: This was the best “research” I've ever done. Basically, I was given reason to read all the BOOM POTA comics and rewatch every single movie in the catalog. I mentioned it before, but I love the POTA franchise, so having reason to do this kind of work is about all I can ask for. It had been some time since I saw the original films, specifically the last three; they still hold up, without question.
DF: We are moving into the new, modern films now. Are you informed enough in cinematic Apedom to compare the two eras of movies?
Michael Moreci: Oh, I very much am. I'll be honest, I love both for different reasons. There's something very raw and visceral and gutsy about the originals, something that I don't think gets recognized enough. They were really going after some controversial cultural issues, wrapping it in a movie about apes, strangely enough. But at their heart, those films—and this should definitely be said about the new films as well—were about society, commenting on and satirizing it at the same time.
The new films are a little more broad in their social commentary, but no less effective or salient to their period in history. Obviously, the new era is far more polished and takes itself more seriously than the original films; but, those original films had such unbridled craziness in them. Beneath the POTA is probably one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen, from start to finish—it's so wonderfully strange. You probably won't get anything like that in the new era of films, which is unfortunate.
DF: How does it feel to be adding to this great franchise mythology?
Michael Moreci: It's a little nerve-wracking because such amazing things have come before me in various mediums. But, at the same time, my enthusiasm quells that anxiety quite a bit. I just want people to enjoy the series and feel like it fits well into the POTA franchise. I think what we -- Dan McDaid and I -- are doing really honors the POTA tradition and allows us to infuse our own character into the book as well. I'm thrilled to be the POTA writer; it's been so much fun writing it.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Michael Moreci for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 hits stores in November!
Don't forget to grab your copy of Roche Limit #1 signed by Michael Moreci right here!
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