New ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Poster and Director Interview

Published 11 months ago by , Updated June 7th, 2014 at 3:55 am,

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes poster header New Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster and Director Interview

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a movie that didn’t really have a designated antagonist. There were antagonistic character, certainly, like Will Rodman’s grumpy neighbor, the sulky, sadistic guard at the San Bruno Primate Shelter and Will’s greedy, arrogant boss. Nonetheless, the apes only allowed themselves to be pushed so far before they decided to push back.

If Rise of the Planet of the Apes had a revolutionary spirit, then the underlying theme of upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is war. The movie picks up ten years after Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his intelligent apes made their escape across the Golden Gate Bridge, and while they have been making a home for themselves humanity has been dying at an astonishing rate due to the spread of the so-called “Simian flu.” With humans and apes now far more evenly matched, the two tribes find themselves deciding whether to become allies or to fight each other for domination.

The marketing so far has made it pretty clear that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes does not end with the apes and humans sitting peacefully around a fire, strumming acoustic guitars and singing “Kumbaya.” In case the tone of the trailers wasn’t quite ominous enough, however, the new poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes takes the twin images of apes on horseback and apes holding guns and pieces them together in a rather epic tableau of Caesar leading the apes on horseback and wielding an assault rifle.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes final poster 570x844 New Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster and Director Interview

Bay Bridge can be seen in the background of the poster as a very straightforward metaphor for bridges being burnt (does that even count as a metaphor?) and the overgrown ruins of San Francisco are also on fire. Despite the adversarial nature of the marketing, however, director Matt Reeves says in an interview with Dread Central that he did not want any “villain” characters in his movie

“We don’t have a villain in the story… To me the idea of the story of villains, it’s always much less interesting than to understand that we have the capacity to be villains, that we have the capacity to be better. And to reflect as accurately as possible given the context of the story, a story of apes and humans who have to grapple with whether they are going to fight or not fight. But to find a way to reflect something truthful about our nature, I find that inspiring. The moment you can write off someone as a villain is the moment you objectify them. What I always find thrilling in movies is empathy.”

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Koba1 570x294 New Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster and Director Interview

Reeves explains that the first 15-20 minutes of the movie are set in the ape utopia, where Caesar’s egalitarian leadership has allowed the different species to work together, building complex systems like aqueducts and learning to speak a common language. The arrival of humans into this community is a catalyst for strong disagreement among both tribes, and some apes and humans argue for war and others for peace. In the first movie, Koba (Toby Kebbell) was established as one of the more violent and anti-human apes, whereas Caesar has a certain amount of sympathy towards them.

“Caesar and Koba are bonded because Caesar freed all of the Apes and they are bonded with that experience. Caesar did this for them and they become brothers and family. Then when the humans come, the question is how should we deal with them? Because my experience as Koba was that I was tortured by them. ‘I lived in laboratories and they did unspeakable things to me.’ That’s my experience of what they are. Caesar’s experience is more shaded than that. This sparks a debate. But it’s not that Koba is wrong because of what he went through, because that’s his experience. “

Reeves also confirms in the interview that Will, Caesar’s ‘father,’ was killed by the Simian flu that he helped create in between the two movies, which explains why James Franco isn’t returning in this sequel outside of camcorder footage. Interestingly, the window frame of Caesar’s attic room eventually becomes the symbol for the ape revolution, seen across the USA and even overseas in promos for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

A great twist for this movie would be the apes actually losing the war and the next movie being called Planet of the Humans Again. At least we only have to wait until next month to find out if that happens.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out in theaters on July 11th, 2014.

Source: IGN, Dread Central

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. This is easily my most anticipated movie of 2014, perhaps tied with Interstellar and Guardians… This has The Dark Knight potential in terms of sequel quality compared to its arguably great original.

    Also, is anyone who uses ScreenRant on Twitter having the problem of the page reloading several times and going to the top and annoying ads popping up?

  2. Out of all the Sci-fi movies that are coming out this summer, this one is very low-key.

    Aside from the usual teaser trailer & poster, the marketing has been very minimum. Maybe this could be the surprise flick of the summer ? Or maybe Fox already blew their marketing budget for X: DOFP ?
    Speaking of poster, this version is cool.

    • X-Men DOFP had an understandable amount of marketing when compared to other big budget movies, so I doubt they blew it all on that movie. Amazing Spider-Man 2 on the other hand had a ridiculous amount of marketing. I was flabbergasted by how much key scenes they showed in the trailers and tv spots, and they even showed the final shot of the movie in some previews.

  3. I see that picture and it reminds me of this “From my cold dead hands”.

    I’m Anti-NRA so seeing the apes with guns is Hillarious to me…

    • Hah — those apes probably DID pry their guns from our cold dead hands…

    • Pro-gun lobbies and campaignersare the unintelligent apes with guns, obviously.

      • Aiming at all of you, boys and girls. I am pro-gun rights. However, I am also pretty law-abiding, and while I am a gun-owner, I do not run around playing cowboy with it, and believe in guns for home protection, target-shooting, etc. as a sport, and am a bigger supporter of the 2nd. Amendment. Having said that, however, I do not think the average citizen needs to have a gun suitable for shredding a tank, or a machine-gun to shred a deer while hunting. Further, I am a big animal lover, and do not support hunting at all. I have been a victim of a gun-crime, and it has only strengthened my conviction that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to have guns (pistols, rifles). I have been on both ends of a gun pointed in anger, and know which end I prefer to be on. I have also used a gun to lawfully prevent a crime, so I think I know whereof I speak from several different points of view.
        But oh–this was an article about the movie. Yes, I am anxious to see this as well.

  4. This movie is gonna kill it this summer! Can’t wait — Godzilla kicked off the season the right way, and now an ape army will keep the momentum going. Next most anticipated after Apes is Interstellar, then Guardians.

    • Well, can’t fault your taste in movies…you listed four I plan to see.

  5. I’ve got a feeling that Caesar will die in this

  6. Glad that Reeves is taking this approach. Planet of the Apes has never been a straightforward story of good and evil, like say, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of man’s arrogance. As such, it makes sense for the characters to operate in shades of grey rather than black and white. Heck when you think about, there weren’t any true villains in the original; while some might say Zaius, he was just doing what he thought was best for his people and honestly, he had a point.

  7. Needless to say, but Northern California is not the native habitat for apes. So while there was a small number of them (relative to the entire worldwide population of apes) took sanctuary in the forests and created a utopia for themselves, there must be apes all over the rest of the world sitting around wondering what the hell just happened. I mean, what about them? Would Caesar know to go and find those apes (if they survived, which is not guaranteed) and unite them all? Apes don’t procreate very quickly, so if I go and watch the scenes where they show the apes’ numbers and they all of a sudden look a lot more than in the first movie, I’m going to be skeptical.

  8. Reminds me of the Transformers 4 poster. It’s still badass!

  9. Has anyone seen the version I saw earlier?

    Same thing but with Jason Clarke’s floating head in the upper left and Caesar’s floating head in the upper right corners.

  10. That’s not the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the western span of the Bay Bridge. Nice try, though.

    • Thanks for pointing it out. I think everyone outside of the US would assume it was the Golden Gate Bridge, much like some people in the US think England consists of London and nothing else.