A new Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes poster has arrived, and it's looking right at you. Yes, that's Andy Serkis' Caesar, now older and tougher and showing a taste for face paint.
The sequel takes place a decade after the events in Rise, when humanity has been ravaged by a devastating virus unleashed upon the population. With the simian soldiers slowly establishing their own society, humanity tries to forge a fragile peace, but things don’t go to plan.
"We'll see how Caesar becomes this leader," director Matt Reeves has said of the film. "The apes' story is a through-the-looking-glass way of looking at what we are. By what's going on in the internal lives of the apes we are exploring ourselves, our impulses, our society. So much is roiling inside [him]. He has a rational side separate from the apes - they're all instinct."
Reeves, who took on the Apes baton from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' Rupert Wyatt, has enthused about Andy Serkis's knack for bringing the mo-capped ape to life ("We all know he's a genius") and Weta Digital's fast-advancing tech. "I want it to feel as if we're making an epic film", he said, "[and] very grounded, [so] we're lighting with real light, and we're putting the effects that are so amazing in Rise and Avatar into this environment. Making the effects emotional in real life increases the illusion. But it's a complicated thing to take these crazy digital cameras in these crazy locations."
Serkis is joined by Toby Kebbell as Caesar's fellow ape, Koba, as well as a human cast that boasts Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Judy Greer and Jason Clarke. "I want to make sure to bring to the human characters the same level of emotional depth as the apes," stresses the director. "I can't give too much away, I'm hiding a little bit. I'm going back to shooting apes climbing trees in the woods."
With Kodi Smit-McPhee also in the cast, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is out here on July 17 next year.