‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': Holiday message arrives for July 4

July 03, 2014 | 2:45 p.m.
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Caesar, the leader of the ape nation, performed by Andy Serkis, in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis (right) (in performance capture suit) and Malcolm (Jason Clarke), a representative of a colony of human survivors, in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Jason Clarke in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Andy Serkis and director Matt Reeves on the set of the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (20th Century Fox)

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Jason Clarke and director Matt Reeves on the set of the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James)

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Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis (in performance capture suit), in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis (in performance capture suit) in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar, performed by Andy Serkis, in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar, performed by Andy Serkis, in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar, portrayed by Andy Serkis (in performance capture suit), the leader of the ape nation, and Malcolm (Jason Clarke) in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (David James/20th Century Fox)

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Caesar (Andy Serkis) ponders his next move as he faces a threat posed by a colony of humans in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (WETA)

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Malcolm (Jason Clarke) is surrounded by apes as he tries to make peace in a scene from the movie "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." (WETA)

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is getting into the holiday spirit with a weighty new video message inspired by the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

The trailer features an audio recording of President John F. Kennedy’s Fourth of July address at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1962, adding a measure of gravity to the events depicted in the clip, the latest of several offering a glimpse into how the new world order of the apes comes into existence in the July 11 release.

As Kennedy’s Cold War-influenced intonation “to regard any threat to the peace or freedom of one as a threat to the peace and freedom of all,” rings out, viewers glimpse just how efficiently the apes appear to have taken over the world and thoroughly dominated mankind.

Set 10 years after 2011’s breakout hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by Matt Reeves, posits a world where apes have developed their own civilization and human sightings are rare.

When a group of survivors — including Jason Clarke’s Malcolm, a single father and former architect; Keri Russell’s Ellie, a nurse; and Gary Oldman’s Dreyfus, the leader of the human colony in the ruins of San Francisco — seeks to restore electrical power to San Francisco, they come into conflict with the rapidly expanding troop of apes led by Andy Serkis’ Caesar, the orphaned offspring of a laboratory chimp has evolved into the leader of his tribe that includes wife Cornelia (Judy Greer), teenage son Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and a council of close friends.

Serkis, who portrays Caesar through performance-capture technology, described the ape leader’s system of rule in an interview with Hero Complex.

“Caesar’s created a society in which there is complete equality between orangutans and chimpanzees and gorillas,” Serkis said in an interview with Hero Complex. “There are a set of beliefs that they’ve collectively imposed, and there are strict tenets of what they should and shouldn’t do. He’s an egalitarian leader.”

To immerse audiences in the ape-centric world, director Reeves, who takes over the franchise from “Rise” director Rupert Wyatt, pushed performance-capture technology to new terrain. Traditionally, motion-capture movies are filmed in a studio on a stage called a “volume,” with actors’ performances digitally enhanced by animators and visual-effects technicians. “Dawn,” however, was filmed almost entirely on location, with cast and crew trudging through the sweltering humidity of New Orleans and the freezing forests of Vancouver, Canada, lighting gear and enormous 3-D cameras in tow.

“We’re in the woods; we’re not creating the woods,” said Reeves. “It was crazy hard, but what’s going to be cool about the aesthetic is that you’re going to feel very grounded in the real world, so just the one fantasy is that they’re intelligent apes. No one has done that yet to the level that we did, so it should have a really distinctive feel and look.”

– Justin Sullivan and Noelene Clark | @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


One Response to ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes': Holiday message arrives for July 4

  1. Collins says:

    This is a great movie. With the motion capture alone it makes the whole movie awesome. Andy Serkis performance with the motion capture is undeniably amazing, I know it here: http://www.exploretalent.com/articles/top-10-best… he is the best. Would you believe he's behind the most precious Gollum?

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