Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a somewhat unique film as far as studio franchises go. It was a prequel to the original Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston and a pseudo-remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, but since it didn't follow precisely the same continuity of either of those films, Fox treated it like a complete reboot of the Apes franchise. So where does Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fit into all of it? Simple: forget all of those other movies exist. Dawn is a direct sequel to Rise and that's that. (Or is it?)
Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) is directing this time around. Fox has begun to drip out a little bit of info about the movie (that's the logo up top), which started filming a few weeks ago, and while it's still sparse, the new plot description should be enough to get fans' imaginations working:
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.
So, Dawn takes place 10 years after Rise. The apes have spread, but they have yet to rid the planet of us lowly humans, who have begun fighting back. Sound familiar? That's because it sounds an awful lot like 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes. But, as with Rise's similarities to Conquest, Fox isn't calling this a remake, so just go on pretending like that movie doesn't exist as far as continuity goes.
Fox has also announced two more cast members for the film: Enrique Murciano (Traffic) and Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla). The studio hasn't identified if they'll be playing humans or those damned dirty apes, however, so keep on guessing. They join Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kirk Acevedo and Judy Greer. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will hit theaters May 23, 2014.