The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes CinemaCon Footage Is Haunting And Awesome

Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes did an amazing job of rejuvenating the classic sci-fi franchise back in 2011 and this year we will finally get to see the world of the movie only expand. Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be heading to theaters this summer, and today at CinemaCon we got a very special sneak peek at the film that has only raised our anticipations and expectations.

Set 10 years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the footage began showing pure desolation of the world as we know it, with all kinds of nature taking over all of human civilization. As title cards come up reading "They created a home" and "Lived in peace," we see shots of apes riding on horseback and living in a community. Caesar (Andy Serkis) speaks to his fellow intelligent apes, saying, "Family, future."

Conflict first arises, however, when we see a human (Tony Kebbell) wandering through the woods alone. He runs into a group of apes and reacts in sheer terror – it is clear exactly what the relationship between humans and primates in this world is. The scene then cuts and we see Jason Clarke’s character for the first time – with a small group of other humans – telling a shrewdness of apes that he means them no harm.

From there we got a better sense of the dichotomy being created amongst the human survivors. In some kind of encampment we see Gary Oldman’s character – clearly very pro-human/anti-ape - speaking to a group about the struggles that have been experienced over the last few years. We also see Keri Russell’s character saying that the apes can’t be blamed for what happened, given that the virus was actually created by humans. Clarke also seems to be more on the pro-ape side, explaining that they should give the apes a chance and that they "want what we want" - an idea that Oldman outright rejects saying that the primates will eventually turn on them. It is clear that war is brewing, and things only start to escalate as a montage reveals action scenes, guns are fired and Caesar calls to his troops, "Apes together strong."

The footage ended with an extended scene featuring two men who are hanging out together next to a building when an ape approaches them. At first they seem scared and grab their guns telling it to go, but the ape plays friendly and begins to clap and do summersaults. The humans begin to let their guard down and the ape gets up next to them, grabbing a bottle of alcohol and swigging it (before spitting it out in disgust). The men laugh at the ape’s antics, but things get serious when the ape grabs a gun and starts playing with it… and then shoots one of the men. It’s incredible how quick the tone of the scene changes, and it’s terrifying when a wide smile breaks across the ape’s face.

The reboot was a true surprise when it came out three years ago and the CinemaCon footage from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has only made me more excited for the follow-up. Hopefully we’ll be getting a brand new trailer soon, as the film will be arriving in theaters on July 11th, but for now enjoy the teaser trailer that came out earlier this year:

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.