In the upcoming "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," viewers will find out that ten years have passed between the end of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and the new film. Ten years has proven to be a remarkably long time, with the entire world changing radically in the decade since the last movie.
As you may recall from the first movie, Caesar's group of apes has gained heightened intelligence, thanks to a pathogen that's fatal to humans. In the interim, this virus has been named the "Simian Flu" and has ravaged the globe, decimating most of the populace. One human out of every ten, it turns out, has a natural immunity to the disease, leaving just 10 percent of humanity still alive and trying to carry on. Sadly, when 90 percent of the global population dies, society's infrastructure collapses.
In promotion of the new movie, 20th Century Fox commissioned the production of three short films that help tell the story of all that happened in the ten years between films. This mini trilogy, collectively named "Before the Dawn of the Apes," is set during the first year, the fifth year and the tenth year, respectively, after the Simian Flu breakout.
"Spread of Simian Flu," the first short, was directed by Isaiah Seret. It's set during the initial outbreak of the Simian Flu, and follows a father and daughter who have to fend for themselves after their wife/mother is quarantined for contracting the disease. So, you know, break out that box of tissues.
The second, "Struggling to Survive," comes from director Daniel Thron. It tells the story of an orphaned teenage girl who barters items to survive. Never mind that those items are things she took from the homes of those who've died from the virus.
"Story of the Gun" is the final short film and by far the longest, directed by Dylan Southern & Will Lovelace. This unique concept casts a shotgun as its main character, taking viewers on a journey as the weapon is handed down to various owners in the world following the global collapse.
Additionally, Fox partnered with Vice's science and technology channel Motherboard to create a short documentary film that digs deeper into the human mistakes that led to the new status quo. "Island of Apes" takes you inside a peaceful, isolated area that was once a lab where chimps were experimented on, and has now become a home for the intelligent apes to thrive in. Just outside their home, human survivors live in fear from the powerful apes and try to scrape together a life. The docu zeroes-in on a woman named Betsy Brotman, who co-founded the original lab, and covers her dark history and how she's changed her views on animal testing.
You can watch all three short films and the documentary below.