This summer we’ve seen humans go to war with mutants, radiation-eating monsters, aliens and even with faeries, and in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this pattern will continue humans will go to war with their own cousins. Once more featuring performance capture expert Andy Serkis as ape leader Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will also star Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke as members of a nearby human settlement who are debating whether to ally themselves with the apes, or attempt to wipe them out completely.
The latter goal is pretty optimistic, as the ten years since the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes has seen Caesar’s ape population grow strong even as the human population of Earth was whittled away to a shadow of its former self by the deadly ALZ-113 virus. For those who can’t quite remember the events of the last movie, Twentieth Century Fox has released a new featurette for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that recaps Caesar’s story, and hints at what direction it will take next.
Fox has also released two new TV spots for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first of which might be the best TV spot for the movie so far. Whereas the majority of the movie’s marketing so far has highlighted the tragedy of two groups that could have helped one another falling into a state of war, sometimes it’s OK to just acknowledge that the movie is about an army of apes riding on horseback firing guns whilst leaping through flames, and that is kind of awesome. The second TV spot is slightly more somber, but it also includes the simply wonderful line, “They’re talking apes with big-ass spears!“
The TV spots also feature some disturbing new footage, such as Caesar’s old orang-utan friend Maurice (Karin Konoval) caged and in chains, though since the next shot shows Caesar helping Maurice out of the cage the suspense is pretty short-lived. So far it’s been difficult to tell whether the apes or the humans will be the initial aggressors, since for every clip of Oldman yelling about how they need to go to war there has been another showing Koba (Toby Kebbell) suggesting the same thing to Caesar. According to director Matt Reeves, there are no real “villains” in the movie – just desperate people making tough choices.
Caesar, for his part, seems reluctant to go to war due to being raised by human scientist Will Rodman, who was killed off by the virus he helped create between the two recent Planet of the Apes movies. The trailers for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes definitely aren’t making any secret of the fact that the peace talks are going to fail, however.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out in theaters on July 11, 2014.