Caution: Spoilers for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes are in play. When Dr. Will Rodman experimented with ALZ-113, a mind-altering treatment for Alzheimer's disease in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, he inadvertently unleashed a plague that would bring humanity to the state that it's seen in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Just how bad did things get, and how did the world of humans, once so advanced, fall to its knees? Building off of the ending of the first film, the marketing team behind the film has now given us an unsettling look into our fictional future.
MSN ran the exclusive video, detailing the period between 2011 (the release/setting of the first film) and 2021 (the sequel's starting point.) So what's changed between Rise and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes? Well, thanks to Douglas Hunsiker (patient zero of the Simian Flu), the world proceeds to go through ten years of death, unrest, and the eventual break down of modern society. Humanity goes from being a first world species to being lucky to even have shelter and minimal resources. While humanity struggles with the assistance of leaders like Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his kind thrive and eventually arrive on somewhat even playing field with the humans. Needless to say, peace between the two won't last for long.
I'm a sucker for viral apocalypse stories, which is odd considering how fearful they are in actual life. The world depicted in this video is one that's not comfortably removed from the world we live in today, and that's part of what sells this video so well. This bridge story is designed to prep audiences for the world of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and I'm all the more excited for it because the franchise continues to take itself deadly serious with its new lease on life. It's as if someone took the opening to World War Z, saw that they had a better movie on their hands, and treated that opening with the due respect and fear that doesn't come with a 1990's music video.
Rise of the Planet Of The Apes wasn't a fluke. It was a carefully crafted start to a franchise that reinvented itself on the back of how to connect a long standing (if not horribly dated, and increasingly silly) science fiction franchise with modern audiences. Through palpable fear, and some movie science that doesn't strain credibility too much, and found a way to keep Planet Of The Apes' message of tolerance versus intolerance in tact. If the movie invokes half of what this video managed to do in such a short time, you can bet that Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes will turn this into the franchise 20th Century Fox has been waiting for some time to be a part of.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes will be released on July 11th, with a second sequel already being planned for July 29th, 2016.