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Short Films Bridge “Rise” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”

20th Century Fox has released three short films designed to bridge the gap between “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the upcoming “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”  While this isn’t the first film to use shorts and viral videos to further the story, this is a novel and interesting approach that helps flesh out the time between the film.

The first, “Spread of the Simian Flu” follows a family of three as they struggle to survive the Simian Flu, which is decimating the population. Taking place one year after the events of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the population is dwindling and we see desperate measures taken, including quarantining the sick and committing murder and robbery for food, housing and supplies.

The second, “Struggling to Survive,” takes place 5 years after “Rise” and follows an orphaned teenage girl who survives by bartering items she has taken from the homes of the dead.

The third film is titled “Story of the Gun” and trails a shotgun and its many owners, taking place a decade after “Rise.”

This is the first real look at the timeline between the movies, and gives a clearer picture of what has gone down in that time and where the world is at as the apes slowly take over the world. It’s an interesting franchise-building step, and hopefully as franchises like this one and Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise continues to cross media and formats, will create richer, more complex stories.

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