The final theatrical trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has been released and buzz for the 20th Century Fox’s tentpole follow-up to 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes has never been stronger. Set to be released on July 11, Fox is hoping that the sequel can build upon the critical and financial success of its predecessor and keep the rebooted franchise firing on all cylinders.
The new action packed trailer shows exactly why Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the most anticipated blockbuster films of the summer. With Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) leading the human charge against horse riding apes armed with guns, the film looks to give audience members exactly what they always envisioned in the epic battle between man and ape. As Caesar (Andy Serkis) tells newfound human friend Malcom (Jason Clarke), “War has begun.”
Taking place a decade after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the film tells the story of a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar — the chimp who propelled the apes’ rise to power. But a growing band of humans who survived the plague unleashed in the first film increasingly threaten the safety of the group of apes and a short-lived peace treaty brings both sides to the brink of a war that will decide whether apes or humans will dominate Earth.
“Going through to this next stage, it’s very much about Caesar having become leader, and not throwing away everything that he has grown up with as a human being,” Serkis explains. “So in a sense, he’s both finding his inner ape by galvanizing this group of orangutans and chimps and gorillas — 2,000 strong — but also trying to evaluate on a daily basis, and not become absolute but be open and empathetic.”
He also adds that Caesar’s family will play a role in the new film. “He’s also a father now: he’s got a teenage son. He’s also now got an infant child, he has a wife. He has a council, he has a very, very big community that he’s responsible for, and their survival,” Serkis says. “And then he has the choice and reaction to human beings who he adores in a sense, and still, deep down, wants to be able to communicate with.”
If Dawn of the Planet of the Apes does end up performing better than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Fox could have a monstrous franchise on its hands. Released in the summer of 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes didn’t necessarily arrive with huge fanfare, but performed marvelously at the box office with strong word-of-mouth and a positive reception from critics. Directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco with an award winning motion-capture performance from Serkis in the role of Caesar, the film outperformed expectations en route to $481 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $93 million.
Serkis returns to the role of Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes along with Oldman, Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Franco in a cameo video role. With a budget increased to $120 million this time around, the sequel sees director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) take the reigns to the series. Fox isn’t waiting to see how the new film performs before it plans another follow-up; according to reports, Fox has already chosen July 29, 2016 for the release of the next film in the series with Reeves returning to the directing chair and co-writing with Mark Bomback. Rumors indicate that this film will be entitled Planet of the Apes.