Fox showed the first footage from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to Hall H at yesterday’s Comic-Con panel. Director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) cautioned that the audience wouldn’t see much of the apes since Dawn is still in production and it takes 10-12 weeks to render one ape shot. But the final shot revealed Caesar, the lead character played by motion-capture godfather Andy Serkis, sporting war paint in the moment before he leads the apes into battle.
Fox released an image from that scene. I understand this is a still image of a fictional CGI animal—it’s still chilling to be caught Caesar’s intense glare. See the full image after the jump. Starring Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens July 18, 2014.
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 Earth¹s dominant species.
Reeves offered more detail in a recent interview:
“Caesar talks at the end of [Rise of the Planet of the Apes], he has some level of speech. I wanted to make sure we’re continuing to go along the path of evolution without missing it, it was so delicious to watch in the first movie. It’s not like now they are talking in verse. Hopefully the movie is emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being … The ape civilization is in the woods, between Vancouver and New Orleans, the world after what happens with the simian virus flu. The two main locales are San Francisco and the Muir Woods where the ape civilization is born. We’ll be doing a little shooting in San Francisco as well. A lot of the Louisiana shooting was to build huge wood sets outside in the woods to add realism, enormous exterior streets. We’re shooting in the rain, in the wind, all on location out in the open in the elements.”