‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Set Photo: Apes on Horseback

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An ape on a horse in Planet of the Apes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Set Photo: Apes on Horseback

Move aside, Snakes on a Plane, because there’s a new exotic-animal-plus-unusual-mode-of-transportation combo in town. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has been filming in New Orleans and Vancouver for a while now and, in the wake of the press release and full synopsis from Twentieth Century Fox, director Matt Reeves has shared the first set photo from the shoot.

To give the image a little context, the sequel picks up ten years after the conclusion of the last film, as Caesar (Andy Serkis) leads his growing band of apes into a new civilization. Much of humanity has been killed off by the deadly virus that was unleashed and spread across the globe, but Caesar and his group encounter a small band of human survivors and attempt to create a truce between the two species.

The early meeting between the humans and the apes is what is apparently being shown in the picture tweeted by Reeves earlier today. It shows Andy Serkis and another “ape” in motion capture suits, riding noble black steeds and confronting a rather nervous-looking Jason Clarke. It’s difficult to identify most of the actors in the background, but the woman on the far left is Keri Russell, who plays the female human lead for the film.

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Andy Serkis in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 570x356 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Set Photo: Apes on Horseback

This single image actually tells us a whole lot about what to expect from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and how it will be the “missing link” between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the classic 60s movie. First of all, those horses are fully saddled-up, which means that Caesar hasn’t been wasting the last decade, but has been building up a proper fledgling nation, with stables, apparently. The apes were seen riding horses and using firearms in the original Charlton Heston film, and it’s possible that once Serkis is converted into his ape form in post-production he’ll also be carrying a weapon in this scene.

The more interesting aspect of the photo, however, is the fact that the apes and the humans seem to be talking. Again, it looks like Caesar hasn’t just been cooling his heels for the last ten years, which is lucky, because it’s unlikely that the peace talks described in the synopsis would get very far if the two parties didn’t speak the same language.

Like what you’ve seen and heard about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so far? Can you put names to any of the faces in the background? Discuss this first look at the movie in the comments below.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in U.S. theaters on May 23rd, 2014

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Source: Matt Reeves

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33 Comments

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  1. Oh crap! I didn’t know this would be a picture of Andy, thats awesome! Caesar should be reasonable with the humans…shouldn’t he? 0_0

    • Absolutely loved the first film!
      This sequel will be amazing!

  2. The first appearance of the apes on horseback in the original
    Planet Of The Apes was a thrilling dramatic moment where
    the terrifying upside down world was shockingly revealed.

    The original film, commanded by man’s man Charlton Heston,
    is one of the all-time Sci-Fi champs and a genuine classic
    with perhaps the most dramatic ending of any film ever.

    • okey…

      • …dokey

        • …artichokey…bear named Smokey…facebook pokey…pokey comma hokey…adopted god Loki…sniffed a little cokey…gettin really jokey…

          Alllllllllllrighty then

          • what a way to put it, very nice Palmar

            • Say, thanks Jak.

          • :D

          • This all sounds dorky, makes me feel horky!

    • You said it! One of my favorite movies, if not all-time #1! I was about 10 or 11 when it first came out in the theaters, and I considered it the most amazing flick I had ever seen at that time! My mom took me to see it, and I (and a zillion other kids) picked up the phrase, “Damn you; Damn you clear to Hell!” Of course, beinbg a typical little kid, I had to run all around the playground pounding my fist into the ground and quoting this at school. I also ran around the house saying that over and over and over again. Finally my dad got tired of hearing me say that, and he walked up to me, took me firmly in an iron grasp by the shoulder, and said, “If I hear you use that profanity again, I will tan your butt! Do you understand me?!” Unfortunately for me, i had picked up another phrase from the m ovie as well (surely a different phrase would be OK, right?0, and so I stage-snarled at my rather strict father, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”…………………………………………………………………………….{I think my butt-cheeks are still sore from the paddling!}

  3. I like how the horse Andy is riding is like ‘PICTURE? OK.’

    • +1

    • “I am Mr. Ed!” (Cheetah travels in style!).

  4. Anyone else think that seeing monkeys using firearms will be hilarious? I mean in the original, the effects make them look like half-ape, half-human beings so it seems okay.

    But here, with the realistic monkey CGI…beware…Chimp with a Shotgun

    • whats more hilarious is
      dumb humans not knowing the difference between Monkeys and Apes!

    • Chimpanzee = ape, not monkey. Afterall, it’s not Planet if the Monkeys.

      • Charles Darwin says…..

  5. This picture almost looks like one from the original franchise (at least the ape makeup). Is this actually from the Serkis flick, or the Heston flick?

    • that first pic is from original, the one below is the new pic

      • Thought so, thanx.

  6. I wonder if Serkis is holding a gun in his right hand (hidden behind the horse’s head).

  7. Burton version i much more better , live actors not cgi sh*t.

    • The Burton version was a joke.

      That guy is great at visuals but crap at making movies.

      The recent version was terrific, Totally unexpected.

    • The original one with Heston, Franciscus, etc. rules! The remake had a couple actors with decent but different make-up, but that was about it. Otherwise it was a slobber-job that drools, while Heston’s flick rules.

  8. Caesar has always been reasonable to humans, However!!!! It was later when the humans became more ape like and animalistic. The apes treated them like they did in the first film. Thus the role reversal. I don’t see this film as a remake. This is the original how it all began, because remember folks. The world changed after PoTA 3 when Zira and Corneleus went back into the 1970′s and gave birth to Caesar. Or was he the real Caesar? History was changed then.

    This is how they took over BEFORE the first film. How it all happened naturally before history was rewritten by corrupt Apes. So at some point as Caesar was compassionate about the humans, they do turn on him. As the intelligence of the human race deteriorates, a war of attrition begins between Apes and Man.

    I’m very excited for this film.

    • Not the same Caesar. Remember at the beginning of RotPotA, when Caesar’s parents were killed? There is further information in movie related comics, but it’s all spelled out on the wikia.

      • Also, I’m grateful if the time paradox is removed like this. I grow so tired of time travel in fiction.

  9. i wanted to watch them really learn to talk :(

    • didnt you see the frist one? caeser talks.

  10. Thinking the Forest plays a role for both species.

    They seem to always come back.

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will most certainly lead to The Fall of the Planet of the Apes.

    As such, it is time warp that leads the Apes back in time before they rose to power. So it should all come back with the Icarus return.

  11. The article fails to remember that Caesar rides a horse briefly in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Maybe the omission is unimportant, but this isn’t unprecedented.

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