Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is still more than a month away, but 20th Century Fox is getting ready to launch the sequel to their surprise hit prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And because the franchise is called Planet of the Apes, not America of the Apes, the studio press is going worldwide. This includes a new international trailer, as well as another domestic TV spot.
Ten years after the action of Rise, a virus, which many blame on the apes, has ravaged the human population, reducing their numbers and pushing humanity back to a kind of post-apocalyptic frontier way of life. This is how the playing field between man and ape has been leveled to a great extent. While the apes raise themselves up, establishing their own community, the human side breaks down, and it looks like they’ll meet in the middle somewhere.
While the virus obviously plays a big part in the story—there’s a prequel novel called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm coming that details the beginning of the plague—there hasn’t been much mention of it in the build up thus far. You hear about it in the synopsis and descriptions, but it hasn’t reared its ugly head in the many of the trailers or commercials we’ve seen, until this one. Aside from the fact that this video is in Japanese, this is the biggest difference between this and what has come before.
When a group of survivors, led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke), show up looking for a place to settle, they strike up an uneasy peace with the apes and their leader Caesar (Andy Serkis). Given the history between the two sides, you can rest assured that this accord won’t last long, and though neither side wants war, both also know that such a conflict is inevitable. And because we’ve seen the future, which is full of Charlton Heston, we know how that war is going to end.
The main settlement of human survivors is led by Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), who features prominently in Firestorm, a former police chief who plays a key role in this TV spot. He has a kind of General Custer thing going on, getting ambushed by what he thought was a much smaller force. Oh, those sneaky apes. This also reiterates the fact why the apes will win. They don’t need heat or power or amenities. They’re perfectly capable of surviving on their own, in the wilderness, with little to nothing in the way of comfort or luxury.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also stars Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer, Toby Kebbell, and Kirk Acevedo, and opens everywhere on July 11.