Will Rodman (James Franco) is a scientist, currently residing in San Francisco, who is working on a cure for Alzheimer's Disease by performing tests on apes. The first test subject is a chimpanzee, named Caesar (Andy Serkis), whose parents had been captured in Africa. Rodman's "cure" genetically modifies Caesar's way of thinking to create a new breed of ape with human-like intelligence. Caesar learns unbelievably well, but human authority orders him to be locked up. However, he eventually proves smart enough to escape from his cage and releases an airborne-strain of the cure among thousands of other apes (the ones that are caged with him), increasing their intelligence, like Caesar. Thousands of apes begin to foment revolution. Soon, war breaks out between humans and apes. Rodman may be the only one able to stop them before the ape revolution ends with the apes succeeding, humanity being driven to extinction, and apes becoming the most dominant species on Earth.