You’ll know that humanity is on the verge of annihilation when the WiFi stops working. In one of this year’s biggest sequels, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it has been ten years since the ALZ-113 virus was let loose upon the human population and triggered a global pandemic. During that that time the virus was renamed H7N9 – colloquially referred to as the ‘Simian Flu’ – to cover up its man-made origins and subtly divert blame towards the world’s growing population of intelligent apes.
In order to bridge the gap between the two movies, Twentieth Century Fox has released a new featurette for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, using a mix of footage from the two movies along with stock news footage (and even a cameo by Barack Obama) to show how the virus ate away at the human population until only a fraction was left alive and social infrastructures collapsed entirely.
This teaser probably does a better job of building up Dawn of the Planet of the Apes than another full trailer would, since it captures the sense of impending war and change without giving away too much about the actual plot of the movie. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes covers an interesting period in the series’ timeline, since it has to explain how a 7 billion-strong species was whittled away to almost nothing in such a short space of time. After all, if one in ten people were able to survive the flu, what happened to the (at least) 700 million people left behind?
The global pandemic may have done more than just killed off most of Earth’s human population. A set of viral videos showing the symbol of the ape uprising overseas in London suggests that the contagious characteristics of H7N9 also allowed it to spread quickly through the ape population of the world. Hopefully Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will also explain how Caesar was able to make contact with the British apes and let them know what the symbol of the ape revolution was going to be. Perhaps he has an Instagram account.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sees Andy Serkis reprising his role as Caesar, and also stars Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman as members of the human community in San Francisco. Even if you’re not interested in the plot, it is probably the only movie out this summer where you can see an ape on horseback wielding an assault rifle. That’s worth the ticket price alone.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out in theaters on July 11, 2014.