‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Gets An Official Synopsis; Full Cast List [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 9th, 2013 at 11:04 am,

dawn planet apes story cast Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets An Official Synopsis; Full Cast List [Updated]

Fox’s Planet of the Apes requel (i.e. rebooting prequel), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was a surprise critical darling, thanks largely to Andy Serkis’ motion-capture performance as Caesar – the genetically-enhanced chimp who evolves into a Che-like revolutionary for ape-kind – and the direction by Rupert Wyatt. That paved the way for the film to gross $482 million worlwide, ensuring that this particular sci-fi franchise would live on to see another day (at the box office, namely).

Serkis is reprising as Caesar in the followup arriving in 2014, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but Wyatt has been replaced by Matt Reeves (of Cloverfield and Felicity Let Me In fame). Filming on the next installment in the Planet of the Apes series has been ongoing for a while now, on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, and up north in Vancouver, BC.

Despite that, we’ve only just gotten an official press release from Fox, confirming that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has begun principal photography; on the plus side, that release includes an official synopsis and full cast list.

UPDATE: Check out the movie’s official logo (click for larger version):

dawn planet apes logo 570x239 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets An Official Synopsis; Full Cast List [Updated]

You can read them below:

Twentieth Century Fox announced that principal photography is underway on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.  They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

Andy Serkis, celebrated for his performance in the last film, reprises his role as Caesar. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also stars Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Public Enemies, The Great Gatsby), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises, The Harry Potter film series), Keri Russell (The Americans, Mission Impossible III), Toby Kebbell (The Prince of Persia, Wrath of the Titans, Rock N Rolla), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, ParaNorman), Enrique Murciano (Traffic, Black Hawk Down), Kirk Acevedo (The Thin Red Line) and Judy Greer (The Descendants, Three Kings, 13 Going on 30).

We previously heard that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes actually picks up closer to 15 years after Rise…, with the aforementioned “band of human survivors” including a group of scientists who are struggling to stay alive in a devastated San Francisco (i.e. Caesar’s childhood home). Moreover, Oldman is playing the leader of the human resistance, and Greer is donning a mo-cap suit to portray Caesar’s companion and romantic interest, the female chimp Cornelia.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Caesar Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets An Official Synopsis; Full Cast List [Updated]

However, the official press release confirms that James Franco won’t be returning as Caesar’s adopted dad, Dr. Will Rodman, the man responsible for engineering the virus that devastated humanity. Instead of continuing the father-son drama, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will focus on Caesar experiences as the leader of ape society, when he learns to appreciate Shakespeare’s observation that “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

The initial script draft for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was penned by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver – who were also responsible for the Rise… screenplay – but it was given a subsequent rewrite by Mark Bomback, after Reeves came aboard to direct.

It’s not yet apparent just how substantial Bomback’s revisions to Jaffa and Silver’s script were; though, it’s possible he only made cosmetic changes based on Reeves’ instructions, rather than heavily rework elements of the previous draft (that same question lingers over Bomback’s revised script for The Wolverine). Hopefully, the combination of new writing input and a different director, ultimately, benefits this anticipated Planet of the Apes flick.


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

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  1. I can’t wait for this movie. I do wish they would have started it sooner though.

  2. I am very excited for this movie.

  3. kinda upset franko isnt returning. i enjoys his relationship with caesar and the ending with them both was great. still, cant wait for this.

    andy was robbed of a oscar nom

    • Yup

  4. Wonder if we’ll have talking apes in this go around?

    • I think they’re gonna time jump so I’ll say yeah.

      • I wonder if Andy Serkis will voice Caesar?

  5. I have been a fan of planet of the Apes since I was a small child. My Father & I watched it on a small black and white tv in the back of a station wagon while camping out in front of our house in suburban Houston. We watched the TV show as well as the movies. A technological feat to do in the 1970’s.

    Everyone knows that the apes will dominate the humans as well as in-slave the human race. So will this movie establish the demise of the human race? Will it share some common bond between man and ape? Or will it be another Fox movie that just gives you content via franchise movie and not much in the way explanations or detailed content. Fox really needs to step up and make these sort movies great and stop just making average popcorn flicks and rentals. I guess you can’t ask for so much in a man in a monkey suit movie.

    • I also watched the movies with my dad. Good times.

      Someone else commented about the language of the apes, whether or not they’ll speak. That gets me. Do they need to speak English for this movie to work with an audience? I don’t think they do. But obviously, they must learn to communicate verbally. They can’t just rely on sign language and primal gestures. Can they?

      More than anything about mankind’s destruction, that’s actually what interests me most about this film.

      • Although, I suppose Caesar’s “NO” at the end absolutely sets up for verbal communication, English or otherwise.

        • The use of language has raised an interesting thought in my mind. I can see Caesar, who was raised by a human who loved him, wanting to emulate his “father”. I believe he would attempt to teach the other apes to communicate in this manner.

          I also see the potential for this to be a point to cause a rift within the Ape Nation. Most of the apes were not as lucky as Caesar; and see Humans as oppressive and evil. I think many would resist learning the Human language and would even find it offensive to embrace any part of Human culture.

          This philosphical division within the Ape Nation, would create an excellent plot point for future movies. I can see a rival emerging for leadership of the apes; one who refuses to embrace Caesar’s view of the Humans. This division within the Ape Nation might force Caesar to ally himself and his followers with the human survivors in the third movie, which would decide the fate of both Apes and Humans.

          Call it War for the Planet of the Apes.

  6. They could show me 3 hours of monkeys playing with a tree and I’d be happy.

  7. I’m assuming Gary Oldman is going to turn into the film’s antagonist midway and it’s up to Jason Clarke’s character to stop him.

  8. love apes and really the tender and the nature it has shown so far did made the trick for the producers and know it was not a easy task to perform a tale like this one and happy about to get full casting.

  9. my question is, will the apes wear pants? or are they going to go around with boners? think about it people!

  10. Yeah, this is one of those rare remakes/reimages/whatever you wanna call them, that was done Right! Very well done. It’s one of those movies I regret not going to the theater to see since it was well worth my $12. So naturally I bought the Bluray. Lookng forward to it…

  11. I’m excited to see where this series takes us. IMO, its one of the few successful reboots/prequels that have done well.

  12. I hope the movie will be at least as interesting as the last one, which tackled with the origins story…

  13. I thought the first one was pretty good, even if it did suffer from a lot of monkey business.

    • “Man these bananas are good!”

    • well i thought the first one was better than rise of the planet of the apes because the only action happened was at the endin the last 40-30min and planet of the apes got to the point they skipped all the boring things like how they started talking thats my opinion

  14. Great movie, and loved the reference to the original movie they made. Hoping this one is good and could maybe lead into the 3rd movie being some kind of remake of the original. Or maybe they’ll drag it out longer.

  15. Not Interested at all, I still can’t get past the terrible CGI shirts in the 1st movie.

  16. What did it for me with the last one was the relationship between Franco’s character and Cesar, I’m hoping this one will be good though

  17. This will be a all time great, The technology we have these days, lets see what matt came up with on this one

  18. Ceaser is home