The Planet Of The Apes franchise is a goldmine for 20th Century Fox. Seven feature films, two TV series, comic books, novels, and even a video game – the potential for further development of the iconic premise set out in the Pierre Boulle novel, ‘La Planete Des Singes,’ is seemingly limitless. Having begun its re-boot of the series with 2011’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, the studio is now preparing to release the next chapter into the wild – Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.
Directed by Matt Reeves – who previously demonstrated his action-helming skills with Cloverfield – the film is scripted by Rise scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, with Mark Bomback (The Wolverine) co-writing. Set a full decade after Rise (the origin story), Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes moves toward a full-on battle for species supremacy, as genetically enhanced apes – led by Caesar – grow in number, and come under attack from human survivors of the simian plague seen spreading across the globe at the end of the previous film. The desperate fight for dominance means that war is inevitable.
Today, 20th Century Fox released a new trailer for the film, which brings us the necessary brooding atmosphere – steeped in menace – as events build toward what would be a devastating confrontation. There are signs of growing divisions within the human camp, as increasingly risky attempts at peace-building are undertaken, and dashed. What is perhaps most notable about this snippet of what is to come, however, is the balance between time spent with the apes and time spent with the humans. While in the previous film, the focus was on the animals, here it seems we will be as invested with the surviving people as we are with their simian counterparts. One thing is for sure, though – this looks like it will be a gripping ride.
‘Mo-Cap’ expert Andy Serkis returns in the role of Caesar – leading the apes against the human race, and Judy Greer (Archer) joins him as fellow ape, Cornelia. Human roles are filled by Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Gary Oldman (the Dark Knight trilogy), Keri Russell (The Americans) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe).
Expectations are high for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, not least because of the success of its predecessor. That film’s careful depiction of the origin of Caesar, coupled with another stand-out performance by Serkis, elevated it beyond much of the studio-produced goods made available to audiences in 2011. On July 17 2014, we’ll see if that bar is raised any higher. In the meantime, you can check out the newly released trailer, along the international version, below, and let us know what you think.