Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer sparks 100 complaints after World Cup TV broadcast

Viewers criticising the 'inappropriate' timing of a clip including gun violence

A trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shown during Wednesday night’s World Cup semi-final has sparked around 100 complaints.

The teaser, featuring gun violence, was shown in the half-time advertisement break to 9.7 million people watching Argentina play Holland.

In one scene, an ape pretends to befriend two humans sitting on a sofa before stealing a machine gun and shooting one of them dead, leaving the other to plead for his life.

Viewers had been warned over Twitter to expect a “dramatic Apes clip” and encouraged to tweet their own mini reviews.

But while plenty of fans gushed over the “jawdroppingly brilliant looking movie”, others were less impressed with what they saw as the inappropriate timing of the advert’s broadcast.

The trailer was aired at 10pm, after the 9pm watershed, but concerns were raised that many children would still be awake to watch the big game.

One Twitter user described the graphic clip as “crass, gratuitous, ill-timed and irresponsibly violent” while another was left “shocked”.

The Advertising Standards Agency confirmed that the high number of complaints had been received and that a decision is to be made on “whether to investigate or not”.

“Complainants are concerned that the ad shows an ape grabbing a fun and shooting a man with it, during the broadcast of the World Cup semi-finals, which children would have been watching,” a spokesperson said.


Due for release on 17 July, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is classified as a 12A meaning it is suitable for children but under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.

Some critics have accused the film of pushing an anti-gun agenda, as Andy Serkis' ape leader Caesar is fiercely against guns being introduced to his tribe.

Screenwriter Mark Bomback has denied these allegations, however, insisting that there is no political agenda behind the movie.

"If we were just going to try and Trojan-horse a gun-control message into the film, that would be a pretty narrow approach," he told the Washington Daily News.

"The issue of gun control involves lots of complicated reasons why that is or isn't a good idea."