Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
A chimp brandishes an automatic rifle while astride a rearing horse.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matt Reeves
Produced by
Written by
Based on

Characters created 
by Rick Jaffa
Amanda Silver

Premise suggested by Planet of the Apes 
by Pierre Boulle
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino[1]
Cinematography Michael Seresin
Edited by
Production
  company
Chernin Entertainment
Dune Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • June 28, 2014 (2014-06-28) (MIFF)
  • July 9, 2014 (2014-07-09) (AUS)
  • July 11, 2014 (2014-07-11) (US)
Running time 131 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120 million[3]
Box office 45,098,000[4]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and starring Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell. It is the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which began 20th Century Fox's reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series. It is the eighth theatrical film in the franchise.

Plot[edit]

The film opens with a montage of news reports showing the collapse of human civilization in the wake of the ALZ-113 virus. Ten years after the epidemic, a middle aged Caesar now leads and governs a new generation of apes, including some of his comrades from the ape sanctuary. Caesar leads the apes on a hunting party for deer, where his adolescent son, River, is scarred by an attacking grizzly bear. Caesar is summoned to his home in the new ape city in the Muir Woods, where his wife has given birth to a newborn son. After ten years without contact with humans, a small party of survivors from San Francisco come across the apes. After one of their members panics, shooting and wounding a young ape, Caesar leads the apes to the human settlement and forbids them from entering the woods.

The party's leader, Malcolm, convinces the human leader Dreyfus to give him three days to make peace with the apes to gain access to a hydroelectric generator at a dam in their territory, which could provide power to the city. Dreyfus is distrustful of the apes, and begins to arm the survivors in preparation for war. Meanwhile, Caesar's lieutenant Koba, who had been experimented upon by humans in the past, encourages Caesar to wipe out the humans while they are desperate. Caesar, seeing a chance for peace with the humans, agrees to allow Malcolm access to the dam. As Malcolm, his wife and son work on the generator, they begin to form a bond with the apes, despite several tense situations arising from the mutual distrust of both sides.

Koba learns of the humans' armaments, and confronts Caesar about his tolerance of the humans. Caesar beats Koba for his insolence, causing Koba to make plans to usurp him. Koba manipulates River into believing Malcolm and the humans are dangerous, while stealing a gun from the human armory. The night that power is restored to the city, Koba uses the human gun to shoot Caesar from hiding, apparently killing him as the body falls off a ledge. River finds the gun, and Koba takes advantage of the resulting confusion from the rest of the apes to place the blame on humans and whip their forces into a frenzy, and he orders a raid on the humans' armory. Using human weapons, they storm the San Francisco settlement, breaking through the gates and taking every human prisoner.

Malcolm and his family find Caesar still alive in the forest, and transport him to San Francisco while they look for medical supplies to help them operate on Caesar. In the midst of the chaos, River and the other younger apes refuse to take lives, prompting Koba to kill River's friend, Ash, as an example. Malcolm finds the supplies, along with a vengeful River, and takes him to Caesar, where the two make plans to re-take the city. Caesar is weakened by his wounds, but together with the help of River, Malcolm and those apes still loyal to him, he leads a confrontation atop the human settlement's skyscraper, which is now Koba's new seat of power. While Caesar and Koba battle atop the tower, Malcolm unsuccessfully tries to prevent Dreyfus from detonating C-4 explosives underneath. The explosion kills Dreyfus and collapses part of the tower, injuring several apes and sending Koba even deeper into madness. As he begins firing on other apes, Caesar is able to knock Koba over a ledge. None of the apes aid Koba as Caesar drops him off the edge, avenging Ash in the process, and declaring Koba "is not ape.",

Malcolm learns that Dreyfus was able to establish communication with other humans, who are sending reinforcements to their location. Knowing that war has already begun, both Caesar and Malcolm mourn the lost chance at peace for both their kinds. Malcolm slips away into the shadows while Caesar stands tall at dawn, ready to lead the apes into war.

Cast[edit]

Humans
  • Jason Clarke as Malcolm, a survivor of the ALZ-113 virus who, along with a small group of other survivors, forms a strong bond with the apes and Caesar.
  • Gary Oldman as Dreyfus, the leader of the surviving humans who wants to kill all the apes and get "revenge" for the deaths of his wife and two sons from the virus.
  • Keri Russell as Ellie, a former nurse with the CDC and survivor of the virus. She is Malcolm's second wife, Alexander's step-mother and knows the virus wasn't caused by the apes.
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee as Alexander, Malcolm's teenage son.
  • Jocko Sims as Werner, an ally of Dreyfus.
  • Kirk Acevedo as Carver, a member of Malcolm's group. He has an attitude problem and a strong hatred for apes.
  • Enrique Murciano as Kempt, a member of Malcolm's group.
  • Kevin Rankin as McVeigh
  • Keir O'Donnell as Finney

Additionally, James Franco, who played Dr. Will Rodman in Rise, is seen in a "posthumous cameo via video".[5]

Evolved Apes
  • Andy Serkis as Caesar, a common chimpanzee who is the leader of the apes, king of the ape colony, husband of Cornelia, and father of River and an infant son. He is also the honorary uncle of Rocket's son, Ash.
  • Judy Greer as Cornelia, Caesar's wife, mother of River and a newborn son, and honorary aunt of Ash.
  • Terry Notary as Rocket, a common chimpanzee who is Caesar's second-in-command and one of his most trusted friends. Because of this, he is Caesar's children's honorary uncle.
  • Karin Konoval as Maurice, Caesar's Bornean orangutan third-in-command and member of the ape council who gets captured and held hostage by Koba.
  • Toby Kebbell as Koba, Caesar's ruthless bonobo adviser who believes his leader is too affectionate towards humans.
  • Doc Shaw as Ash, Rocket's teenage son, Caesar and Cornelia's honorary nephew, and River's best friend and cousin.
  • Nick Thurston as River, Caesar and Cornelia's teenage son, honorary nephew of Rocket, and cousin and best friend of Ash.

Production[edit]

Film set on Rampart Street, New Orleans, May 2013

Development[edit]

After the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, director Rupert Wyatt commented on possible sequels: "I think we're ending with certain questions, which is quite exciting. To me, I can think of all sorts of sequels to this film, but this is just the beginning."[6] Screenwriter and producer Rick Jaffa also stated that Rise featured several clues as to future sequels: "I hope that we're building a platform for future films. We're trying to plant a lot of the seeds for a lot of the things you are talking about in terms of the different apes and so forth."[7]

In an interview recorded after the release of Rise, Wyatt stated, "We want to grow and evolve, in the films that will [hopefully] come after this, to the '68 original."[8] Wyatt also stated that he wants it to take place eight years after Rise, as a whole new ape generation can be born, and explore the dynamics of Caesar and Koba's relationship.[9] According to screenwriter Rick Jaffa, a version of the spaceship from the 1968 Planet of the Apes under the name Icarus was in Rise as a deliberate hint to a possible sequel.[10]

In November 2011, Andy Serkis was the first to be announced as having closed a deal for a sequel to Rise. It was reported to be a "healthy seven-figure deal" for him to reprise his role as Caesar, the ape leader.[11] On May 15, 2012, it was announced Scott Z. Burns had been hired to do rewrites on the original screenplay by Rise writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.[12] On May 31, 2012, 20th Century Fox announced that the sequel, now titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was scheduled for release on May 23, 2014.[13]

On September 17, 2012, there were reports that director Wyatt was considering leaving the sequel due to his concern that a May 2014 release date would not give him enough time to make the film properly.[14] On October 1, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves was confirmed as his replacement.[15] Reeves had been working on developing a new Twilight Zone film.[16] On October 18, Mark Bomback, writer of Live Free or Die Hard, was reported to be doing a re-write for Reeves.[17] It was announced on June 20, 2013 that the release date for Dawn was being pushed back two months to July 18, 2014.[18] On December 10, 2013, the film was pushed up one week to July 11, 2014.[19]

Casting[edit]

Post-production

In December 2012, after the departure of director Wyatt, James Franco speculated he will not be returning for the sequel, saying, "Now Rupert's not a part of it so I don't know. My guess is I won't be in it. Nobody's talked to me since Rupert left."[20] Later, Matt Reeves revealed that Franco would be seen in a cameo in the film.[21] Freida Pinto, who played primatologist Caroline Aranha in Rise, confirmed that she would not be returning for Dawn.[22] In April 2014, when asked by IGN about the fate of Franco and Pinto's characters, producer Dylan Clark said, "I mean, they’re the ones that died," and "They were ground zero of the virus."[23]

In February 2013, actors Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Kodi Smit-McPhee were cast in lead roles and the sequel set 15 years after the events from the first film.[24][25] In March 2013, actress Keri Russell was cast in a role.[26] That same month, Judy Greer was cast as Cornelia, a female chimp and love interest for Caesar.[27] Toby Kebbell, Enrique Murciano and Kirk Acevedo joined the cast during filming.[28] On May 15, 2013, Jocko Sims was cast in a supporting role of military operative Werner.[29]

Filming[edit]

Filming began in April 2013 around the town of Campbell River, British Columbia.[30] The location of Vancouver Island was chosen for its similarity to the locations depicted in the film, the forests, and the variety of landscapes.[31] Filming in New Orleans started in May 2013 and continued in July 2013 at various locations such as the former Six Flags park Six Flags New Orleans.[32]

Release[edit]

The film closed the 36th Moscow International Film Festival on June 28, 2014.[33]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, the film was met with critical acclaim. It currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96% based on 53 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "With intelligence and emotional resonance to match its stunning special effects, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes expands on its predecessor with an exciting and ambitious burst of sci-fi achievement."[34] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating based of top film critics, the film has a "universal acclaim" rating score of 81 out of 100, based on 22 reviews.[35]

Guy Lodge of Variety said, "An altogether smashing sequel to 2011's better-than-expected Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this vivid, violent extension of humanoid ape Caesar's troubled quest for independence bests its predecessor in nearly every technical and conceptual department, with incoming helmer Matt Reeves conducting the proceedings with more assertive genre elan than Rise journeyman Rupert Wyatt."[36] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter stated that the film "manages to do at least three things exceptionally well that are hard enough to pull off individually: Maintain a simmering level of tension without let-up for two hours, seriously improve on a very good first entry in a franchise and produce a powerful humanistic statement using a significantly simian cast of characters. In the annals of sequels, Dawn is to Rise of the Planet of the Apes what The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars—it's that much better."[37] Tim Robey of The Telegraph said, "There's evident patience and intelligence to the filmmaking all over, as well as an engagement with genuine ideas about diplomacy, deterrence, law and leadership. However often it risks monkey-mad silliness, it's impressively un-stupid."[38] Drew McWeeny of HitFix awarded the film "A+" and said "Dawn is not just a good genre movie or a good summer movie. It's a great science-fiction film, full-stop, and one of the year's very best movies so far."[39]

Sequel[edit]

On January 7, 2014, the studio announced a third installment with Reeves returning to direct and co-write along with Bomback with a July 29, 2016 release date.[40][41] An early licensing promo gave a place-holder title of Planet of the Apes.[42] No official title has yet been announced.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Matt Reeves Twitter account". 
  2. ^ "DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (12A)". 20th Century Fox. British Board of Film Classification. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Debuts Four Character Posters". The Fandom Post. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  4. ^ nowiki
  5. ^ "No One Bothered Telling James Franco He's In Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes". CinemaBlend.com. 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  6. ^ Giroux, Jack (April 15, 2011). "Interview: Director Rupert Wyatt on 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' and The End of Cinema". FilmSchoolRejects.Com. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ Lussier, Germain (April 14, 2011). "Collider Visits The Set of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Plus Video Blog". Collider.com. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rise - Rubert Wyatt on Crafting a Summer Blockbuster.wmv". YouTube. August 15, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ Yamato, Jen (August 8, 2012). "Rise of the Planet of the Apes Director Considers 'Full Metal Jacket with Apes' Sequel Idea". movieline.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ Collura, Scott (April 14, 2011). "Visit the Planet of the Apes". IGN. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (November 3, 2011). "Andy Serkis Closes Big ‘Planet Of The Apes’ Deal; Should Fox Campaign For Oscar?". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ "'Contagion' Writer Tapped to Pen 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Sequel". The Hollywood Reporter. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  13. ^ Davis, Edward (May 31, 2012). "'X-Men: First Class' & 'Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Sequels Set For Summer 2014; 'Independence Day 3D' Hits July 3, 2013". indiewire.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 17, 2012). "Another Fox Shocker: Is Rupert Wyatt Exiting ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes?’". www.deadline.com. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ Lussier, Germain. "Matt Reeves Confirmed to Helm ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’". Slashfilm.com. 
  16. ^ "Matt Reeves exits The Twilight Zone movie". Den of Geek. September 26, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (October 18, 2012). "'Wolverine' Writer Tapped for 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ "'Independence Day' sequel gets release date as 'X-Men', 'Apes' switch - Movies News". Digital Spy. 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  19. ^ "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Moves Up One Week". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  20. ^ Gallagher, Brian (December 17, 2012). "James Franco Will Not Return in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - MovieWeb.com". MovieWeb.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  21. ^ Parker, Heidi. "James Franco to make cameo in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  22. ^ "James Franco, Freida Pinto out of 'Planet of the Apes' sequel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Scott Collura (15 April 2014). "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Producer Dylan Clark on Building a Simian Empire". IGN. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Kit, Borys (February 19, 2013). "'Zero Dark' Actor Jason Clarke to Star in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  25. ^ Yamato, Jen (February 22, 2013). "‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Casts Kodi Smit-McPhee". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  26. ^ McNary, Dave (March 6, 2013). "Keri Russell Joins ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  27. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (March 28, 2013). "Judy Greer Joins Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ... As a Chimp!". Vulture.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  28. ^ Romano, Paul (May 8, 2013). "DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Officially Begins Production; Plot Synopsis + Full Cast Unveiled". ComicBookMovie.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  29. ^ Jocko Sims Joins ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (EXCLUSIVE)
  30. ^ Strang, Fay (April 11, 2013). "Magic behind the monkey: Andy Serkis sports motion caption suit on set of latest Planet Of The Apes… as Keri Russell makes her debut". Daily Mail. 
  31. ^ "Campbell River gets ready for ape invasion". CTV News. March 20, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  32. ^ White, Jaquetta (July 14, 2013). "Plans mulled for dormant Six Flags". The Advocate. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  33. ^ "The opening and closing films". MIFF. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  35. ^ "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Reviews - MetaCritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  36. ^ Guy Lodge Film Critic @guylodge. "‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Review: A Bleak but Thrilling Sequel". Variety. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  37. ^ "'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  38. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/10937665/Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-review-impressively-un-stupid.html
  39. ^ Drew McWeeny (June 28, 2014). "‘Review: "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is a daring and dazzling accomplishment". HitFix. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  40. ^ Matt Reeves To Helm ‘Planet Of The Apes 3′
  41. ^ "Twitter / ERCboxoffice: The damn dirty apes will return". Twitter.com. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  42. ^ "Movie Trailers, New Movies, Upcoming Movies, Movies, 2014 Movies, Films, DVD, Blu-ray, TV, Videos, Video, Game, Clips". ComingSoon.net. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 

External links[edit]