Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 American science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves from a screenplay by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. It is the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), and the second installment in the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise. It stars Andy Serkis as Caesar, alongside Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, human survivors are battling to stay alive in the wake of a deadly pandemic which has lasted for a decade, while Caesar tries to maintain control over his expanding ape community. But when both species cross into each other, they try and make a truce to maintain peace with one another and hope to prevent a war between apes and humans.
A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes was announced in 2011, with the returns of both Serkis and Rupert Wyatt confirmed that November. Wyatt departed the film in September 2012, and Reeves was hired that October. Casting took place between February and March 2013, with no additional original main cast members returning. Principal photography commenced that April and lasted until that July, with filming locations including Campbell River, Vancouver Island, and New Orleans. The apes were created using visual effects and performance capture as commissioned by Weta Digital, with the film featuring greater use of these components during action sequences and to create other animals.
Years after the global pandemic of a deadly Simian Flu,[a] the worldwide human population is drastically reduced, with only about one in 500 genetically immune. This causes societal collapse among humans. The apes, all bestowed with genetically enhanced intelligence by the virus, establish a colony in the Muir Woods near San Francisco.
A group of humans, led by a man named Malcolm, trespass the apes' territory, in search of a hydroelectric dam that would restore power to San Francisco. An encounter with the apes, ends with a man named Carver badly hurting the ape Ash. Malcolm manages to prevent further escalation, and Caesar, the apes' leader, orders the humans to leave. Prompted by Koba, a scarred bonobo, Caesar brings his army to the humans' community as a display of strength. Caesar announces to the community that, despite the apes not wanting war, he will fight the humans if he is forced to. He demands the humans to stay in their territory. Malcolm convinces his fellow leader Dreyfus to give him time to take a small team to the forest, reconcile with the apes and access the dam. Eventually, Caesar allows them to work on the generator on the condition that they surrender their guns. While working together, Malcolm, his wife Ellie, and his son Alexander bond with the apes. The fragile relationship briefly falls apart when Carver is discovered to have kept a hidden gun and is thus forcibly sent away, but it is greatly restored when Ellie, a nurse, effectively treats Caesar's wife Cornelia's illness.
Dreyfus arms his community with the Fort Point armory. Koba, who has a vendetta against humans for his mistreatment as a laboratory test subject, discovers the armory and confronts Caesar, accusing him of loving humans more than apes. Caesar beats Koba in response but refrains from killing him. Koba later returns to the armory, kills two guards, and secretly kills Carver after the humans succeed in repairing the generator. Koba takes advantage of their celebration to covertly set fire to the apes' home. He then shoots Caesar, who falls into an underbrush. Koba frames the humans for Caesar's apparent death and the fire to justify war. Taking command, he leads the ape army to San Francisco, where they plunder the armory and mount a full-scale assault on the humans. Despite taking heavy casualties, the apes breach the building and imprison the humans as Dreyfus flees underground. While refusing orders to kill unarmed humans, Ash cites Caesar's teachings, and Koba throws him to his death. He also has any other ape who is loyal to Caesar imprisoned, including Maurice, Luca, and Rocket.
Malcolm's family finds a severely wounded Caesar and transports him to his former house in San Francisco. After sneaking back into the settlement to find medical supplies, Malcolm encounters Blue Eyes, Caesar's son. Blue Eyes spares him before learning that his father is still alive and accompanies Malcolm to Caesar's place. After learning that it was Koba who shot Caesar, Blue Eyes reconciles with his father, returns to the tower and frees every human and ape imprisoned there. After escorting the apes into the tower, Malcolm finds Dreyfus. Apparently, the return of electricity allowed Dreyfus' men to make radio contact with survivors from a military base, who are now coming to fight the apes. Caesar confronts Koba at the top of the tower; as they fight, Dreyfus, in a suicide mission, detonates bombs that destabilize the building in a failed attempt to kill the apes. Willing to shoot at the apes that want to help Caesar, Koba eventually loses. While clinging to a metal girder, he is disowned as an ape by Caesar and dropped to his death.
Malcolm warns Caesar of the approaching human military. Caesar responds \"War has already begun\" because of Koba's violent reign. Believing that the humans will never forgive the apes for their attack, Caesar convinces Malcolm to leave with his family before the fighting begins. He then addresses the apes, preparing for the upcoming war.
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.\" 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.\"
Filming began in April 2013 around the town of Campbell River, British Columbia. The location of Vancouver Island was chosen for its similarity to the locations depicted in the film, the forests, and the variety of landscapes. 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.
Like Rise, visual effects for Dawn were done by Weta Digital. In addition to the apes, Weta created other digital animals, such as a herd of elk, a grizzly bear, and CG doubles of the live horses. The elk were created using key-frame animation and the digital crowd enhancement software MASSIVE, the bear through key-frame animation, and the horses with a mixture of key-frame animation and motion capture.
A viral marketing campaign for the film launched in July 2013 included a \"simian flu\" website and mock PSA videos. 20th Century Fox and Vice Media's Motherboard released three short films online in July 2014 which document the ten-year gap between the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. A novel titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm which is also set between the events of the first two films was published in May 2014 by Titan Books. A partnership with 20th Century Fox and Ndemic Creations saw mobile/PC game Plague Inc. get a Dawn of the Planet of the Apes-themed update on July 10, 2014. It allows players to create and customize a simian flu virus to infect the world and eradicate humanity whilst helping apes survive.
A group of scientists in San Francisco struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of a plague that is wiping out humanity, while Caesar tries to maintain dominance over his community of intelligent apes.
The mostly excellent \"Dawn\" expands and complicates Ceasar's story by showing the aftermath of revolution, when the romance of rebellion has faded and boring old reality sinks in. Caesar and his fellow apes have settled in the forest amid remnants of a civilization cast into ruin by simian flu. A small group led by Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell appears. These humans ask Caesar if they can please reactivate the dormant hydroelectric plant in the woods to restore power to San Francisco, where a few hundred plague survivors have settled amid stone-age squalor. They claim to seek nothing but peace and comfort. The humans' request sparks torment in Caesar and sets the plot in motion.
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A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.
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