Speaking with MTV, Oldman, who plays Drefus in the movie, offered the following:
He is a leader of a community of humans who survived the the flu, the disease and ensuing social uprising.
His character is a former police officer; he is more of the elected leader of the community.
They need power and the humans go investigate a power station where they find an entire community of apes living there.
It was thought all the Apes had been fire-bombed and wiped out.
His character has experienced great loss personally, and there is only one thing to do with the apes: wipe them out.
Oldman sees the character as a hero.
Oldman also mentions they are going to make another (is untitled and has an announced July 29, 2016 release).
"[Director Matt Reeves] wanted to make it more of a human story," said Oldman. "He wanted to explore what had happened, and keep it more focused on the human side of it, before the story becomes the 'Planet of the Apes' as we know it from the original."
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a July 11, 2014 release starring Gary Oldman, Kerri Russell, Jason Clarke, Kodi-Smit McPhee, Judu Greer and Andy Serkis.
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.