We’re just four months away from watching the intra-species war between humans and our hairier brethren in Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. This follow-up to Rupert Wyatt’s surprisingly solid remake Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one that both sci-fi and action fans are anxiously awaiting, and Fox knows it. So how are they ramping up audience expectations? By monkeying around with more set photos that feature the ape actors wearing their motion-capture suits. Not exactly what I’d call badass marketing, but at least leading actor Andy Serkis also unveiled a few more details about this dark and dreary sequel.
The images come courtesy of Empire and the one seen above paints a rather surprising picture. This sequel takes place a decade or so after a deadly virus has wiped out most of the planet’s population, and the unwritten peace treaty between a group of human survivors and the genetically modified ape population is broken. War is imminent! So why is head ape Caesar (Serkis) acting so friendly with the humans played by Jason Clarke and Keri Russell? Are they striking up a deal? Is this movie spoiled for us already? Probably not.
This second photo is a quite a bit more in the vein of where I thought this flick was going to go, as these apes look primed for violence. I was secretly hoping Monkeys With Guns would be this sequel's subtitle, but we can’t have it all.
In that photo, Toby Kebbell’s Koba looks especially pissed about something, and the weapon-toting squad around him is equally enraged. Didn’t these guys ever read about Humpty Dumpty or watch Game of Thrones? Everyone knows perching on top of a big wall is just asking for trouble.
Serkis’ details takes us into the back story rather than the story the film will be telling, but it definitely sets up a desolate world that I can’t wait to visit. Temporarily, that is.
"This is now a community of about 2,000 apes. For the first eight years [after the humanity-devastating virus], the apes were looking down from Muir Woods to San Francisco and could see lights and fires, but now it's gone very quiet. Until this day in our film when this small band of humans comes up. That's suddenly a huge, dividing moment in the lives of these apes. There are some particularly strong reactions to the humans and that's the course of the story."
Drop down from the trees and catch Dawn of the Planet of the Apes when it turns theaters into a war zone on July 11. Maybe by that time we’ll have another trailer to ogle. Until then, watch the old one below or check out or reaction to the Cinema Con footage.