It’s been ten years since super-smart ape Caesar (Andy Serkis) just said no to a life of captivity and led a new race of intelligent apes in a mass escape into the wild, and Matt Reeves’ upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes finds the aptly-named leader living with his wife and child in a fledgling primate nation.

Caesar will face more challenges than simply teaching his followers how to talk and ride on horseback, however; the “Simian Flu” that boosted the apes’ IQ has crippled mankind’s population, and a nearby colony of surviving humans reach out to Caesar with an ill-fated offer of a peaceful alliance.

More details about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ plot will become available next week, as Twentieth Century Fox has announced that the trailer will be released on Wednesday, December 18th at 6AM PST. One way to pass the time until then is to check out these four new character posters for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which could probably make for pretty decent album cover artwork if you arranged them in a square. Maybe a CD full of cover versions of The Monkees’ greatest hits? We’ll work on the concept a bit more and get back to you.

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Identifying the apes is a little tricky now that they’re all ten years older, but Caesar and Koba (Toby Kebbell) are definitely recognizable and one of the others could be Caesar’s old comrade Rocket (Terry Notary). Almost as significant as the faces themselves, however, is what’s on them: Caesar and his lieutenants are wearing war paint, a dark omen of their interactions with Drefyus (Gary Oldman), Malcolm (Jason Clarke) and the other human survivors going quickly downhill.

While designing a poster that’s simply a close-up of the main character’s face might seem done to death by this point, the facial animations for Caesar and the apes are an important selling point for this movie and, if it’s anything like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will likely be one of its greatest strengths. The 2011 prequel was one of the first movies to utilize innovative performance capture technology that translated the facial expressions of the actors onto the CGI ape visages with stunning accuracy and detail, bringing real life to the non-human characters.

Those who have seen Planet of the Apes (or can make deductions based on the title) will already be aware of how the conflict between the apes and the humans eventually plays out, but this early in the establishment of the new ape civilization the stakes are still very high. The species as a whole might survive this latest conflict, but how many of the apes in the above posters will survive with them?

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

Source: Twentieth Century Fox