- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The makers behind “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” are hitting back at accusations that the new film pushes an anti-gun agenda.

The post-apocalyptic action film opens Thursday night and again features peaceful ape leader, Caesar, played by Andy Serkis. In the film, Caesar’s warnings go unheeded when guns are introduced to his tribe, resulting in a bloody war against the humans, the New York Daily News reported.

An early review in Variety said moviegoers would have to be “pretty obtuse” not to notice the pro-gun-control subtext attached to the film.

But screenwriter Mark Bomback denies there’s any political agenda behind the film.


“If we were just going to try and Trojan-horse a gun-control message in the film, that would be a pretty narrow approach,” he told the Daily News. “First, the issue of gun control involves lots of complicated reasons why that is or isn’t a good idea. This film takes place in a post-apocalypse in which there’s a different meaning behind guns.

“When an ape uses one in ‘Dawn,’ it’s the moment we see how ape society will ultimately evolve (in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ world) into a militaristic version of human society. The gun symbolizes human technology dedicated to violence,” he added. “In that sense here, guns are like the serpent in Eden.”

Director Matt Reeves explains that “Dawn” hopes to make viewers ask, “To what extent is destruction inevitable? And is violence part of our DNA — even when we hope for peace?”

Mr. Bomback added: “In more grounded, ‘realistic’ dramas, somehow (that) forces a side to be taken. Sci-fi films, ironically, allow for a complexity. Which is why it’s ironic for anyone trying to accuse this movie of having a ‘liberal anti-gun agenda.’ It’s just not about that,” the Daily News reported.