What can’t those crazy apes do? If you look at these new high-resolution photos from director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes there isn’t much that they’re not capable of. From handling shotguns to riding on horseback, these guys have evolved some serious skills.
Following the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this sequel—though still a prequel to the actual Planet of the Apes—there is a full-on war going down between humans and apes, and it is not going all that well for our side. After a deadly epidemic has ripped through the human population, only a pitiful handful of survivors remain. Trying to make a home in what used to be San Francisco, they’re technically trespassing and in order to survive they will need to make a tenuous peace with the apes, lead by Caesar (Andy Serkis). Even if they do manage to reach an accord, just given the title of the movies, we know that it won’t last a particularly long time.
According to these images from USA Today, the apes are going to be one hell of ferocious force to be reckoned with. These aren’t warm and fuzzy monkeys made out of socks that your kids cuddle with, these are straight up warriors, and they definitely look the part. The combination of motion capture and CGI gives them a fantastic appearance. With these views, plus what footage we’ve seen, the digital apes are going to be a seamless addition to the film.
In addition to the various apes looking warlike and angry, we also get a nice look at the human side of the equation. Gary Oldman looks worn and grubby, like he’s seen better days, which he most likely has. There’s also a group shot of stars Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kirk Acevedo, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and whatever they’ve just encountered, you can tell by their expressions that it isn’t what they were expecting to see.
And just because we know this is ultimately going to end poorly for the human race, doesn’t mean there won’t be moments of relative peace and calm. According to this picture, some of them might even get along and have some good times together.
Talking about the tone of the film, Reeves says, “There is a sense in the beginning of the movie that apes have inherited the Earth. You see the species as it takes dominion over the planet. It’s an ape-world. That’s the fun of it.” He goes on to add, “this is that one moment of time where there is hope for humans.” That certainly implies that this story won’t have an entirely happy ending for the humans in the cast.
As fierce as they are, the apes are not simply a brutal killing force. Serkis says, “Caesar not only has a wife, but also an infant son and a teenage son. This film centers around the notion of family — the survival of the family and what lengths you would go to to protect them when life is extremely hard and tough.” It is going to be interesting to see these two sides, both after surprisingly similar goals, collide.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens July 11.