Matt Reeves, director on Dawn, told SlashFilm that J.J. Abrams watched a special private screening.
I showed him [Abrams[ a bit of the movie. I wanted to get some feedback. And I know that he had known and really loved Andy Serkis. But it’s the same experience I had coming in and asking to see all the footage of Andy from Rise with him in his helmet cam, so that I could understand exactly what the process was. And the thing that struck me, and actually got me so excited, was the mystery behind how great he is, is that he’s great. That he’s an amazing actor. And the scenes that I showed him were of Andy just in mo-cap. And he was like “oh my God, he’s an incredible actor.” He was so blown away.
Reeves and Abrams are childhood friends, and Reeves thinks the screening most likely helped convince Abrams to use Andy Serkis as the actor was recently announced on the cast shortly after Abrams viewed the footage.
And now he’s in Star Wars. I don’t know if that had a direct… I mean, it could, [and] I think he’d always loved Andy. And they had known each other a bit before, anyway. But I think when he saw it, it was like a real revelation. He said to me, “that looks — I’m not kidding when I tell you I think that’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.” I said “I know, isn’t he amazing?” He’s so good.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits July 11th and has already been getting rave reviews.
Star Wars: Episode VII is due out December 18, 2015.