- "I'm saving the human race."
- ―Dreyfus to Malcolm before sacrificing himself
Dreyfus was a former San Francisco police chief who became Mayor shortly after the beginning of the Simian Flu Pandemic which subsequently claimed the lives of his wife and children. He retained his position of authority in the rapidly depopulated city for a decade, and took a militant stance against the Evolved Apes.
Dreyfus served in the San Francisco police department all his adult life. Upon being promoted to Chief of Police, he set about making the force "leaner" and "more responsive". Crime dropped every year during his tenure, and he boasted that his administration led to the arrest of three major crime lords. He had a wife named Maddy, with whom he'd been married to for 20 years, through this union two sons; Edward and John were born. Dreyfus would love and cherish the time he spent with his new family .
By the time of the Monkeygate scandal, Dreyfus had stepped down as Chief of Police the year before, with the intention of competing against Mayor House for the San Francisco Mayoral election. When the Simian Flu broke out, he sought to promote himself by visiting quarantined areas in a bid to contrast himself with Mayor House, who had isolated himself from his citizens and never appeared in public without a surgical mask. He went to St. Francis Hospital, where he managed to calm a rioting mob attempting to gain access to a non-existent cure. His actions inspired mixed feelings in his family; John looked up to him, whereas Maddy worried for his safety.
With the help of his aide Patel, Dreyfus discovered the truth about the origins of the Simian Flu, as well as its connection to the apes, who were being hunted by Anvil, a military contractor owned by Polytechnic Solutions, which also owned Gen-Sys Laboratories, the company that created the virus. Dreyfus also learned that Mayor House received a bribe of $10 million to keep the connection between the virus and the apes secret. Dreyfus headed for the City Hall, where he defused another riot and was nominated Mayor by Daniel Nygun, the president of the Board of Directors. He soon stepped down amidst a wave of attacks by Alpha/Omega, a domestic terrorist group sworn to expedite the virus's "cleansing" of the "impure", and the realization that the title of Mayor no longer held any meaning. Shortly after escaping an Alpha/Omega attack on the City Hall resulting in Patel's death, Dreyfus learned that his wife and children had contracted the virus.
Ten years laterEdit
A decade after the Monkey gate incident and the Simian Flu Pandemic that nearly wiped out all of humanity, Dreyfus having experienced a personal loss meets a man named Malcolm and the two would find other human survivors. Along with Malcolm, Dreyfus becomes co-leader of the Human Colony in the once great city of San Francisco. Dreyfus would send Malcolm' group to the city dam to restore what the power the city has as well as using it to contact other remaining survivors to rebuild what was lost a decade ago.
Dawn of the Planet of ApesEdit
Knowledge of the damEdit
Dreyfus is first at the city gate meeting up with Malcolm's group where he would learn of their encounter with the apes and what followed while showing disbelief that they saw the apes talk he has them keep quiet over the incident and given an estimate over how many apes there are.
Encounter with a new threatEdit
The next day, he and his followers bear witness to the Ape Army entering the city and arriving at the gate of their hideout, he chastises Malcolm over the apes numbers stating "That's a lot more than eighty!!!". He is then seen when the gates are open trying to stop Malcolm from approaching the apes however, he is shocked to learn that Malcolm's group were telling the truth about the apes when he witnesses Caesar talking to him and the other survivors. The Ape King warns the humans to stay out of his colony's territory or else there will be war with that the apes leave the terrified humans in their decrepit homes. Dreyfus then tries to calm his followers by telling them they are immune to the simian flu and tells them they would have to find alternative power source for the city after discovering the ape encampment is located near the local power station.
Sending Malcolm into Ape TerritoryEdit
He would converse with Malcolm about there not being a alternative power source and seeing no other solution, Dreyfus has one plan fight against the apes. His idea is shot down by Malcolm who begs for permission to go up to the woods for three days where he would plead with Caesar for blessings to work on the dam. Dreyfus tries to speak against the idea only for Malcolm to persuade him otherwise and the two come to an agreement that Malcolm would go up to the woods for three days. Dreyfus then tells Malcolm he's going to take some men to the armory to see if any weapon still works and warns him that if Malcolm isn't back by the deadline, Dreyfus and his men will go up to Ape Territory and wipe out all the apes.
War with the apesEdit
Dreyfus is shown at the Armory preparing his men for a possible fight with the apes while unbeknownst to any he was secretly being spied on Koba and his followers who would hurry to tell the other apes about this new discovery. Later on, Dreyfus is seen in the city celebrating with the other humans about the power being restored by Malcolm's group and the apes. Dreyfus would grab a tablet that had just gain power and would look at the pictures of his late family and express tears of joy seeing his loved ones. He would then see that his men have faintly made contact with other humans, Dreyfus orders them to try and get a better frequency. However, before this could be done one of his men barges in alerting them that the apes have attacked the armory and making their way to the city gate. Shocked at this, Dreyfus quickly calms his people telling them "We are survivors! Now they may have guns but that doesn't make them men! They are animals and we will push them back!!!" Dreyfus then has men ready for battle and using ballista his group are able to take out some of the apes as a tank appears and begins to slaughter some of the enemies. Just when it seems the human army are winning the new ape leader Koba enraged at the humans resistance takes control of the tank by killing the driver and using the vehicle to destroy the human colony's gate. The apes then make their way into the city throwing it into utter chaos with many humans being killed or fleeing for their lives. Horrified by this display, Dreyfus quickly has some of his men evacuate the colony and head underground before doing so himself. Sometime while hidden, he and his men were able to make contact with soldiers up at a military base telling them to help fight against the apes.
Reuniting with MalcolmEdit
A few days after the Battle in San Francisco, Dreyfus was reunited with Malcolm and would show him the large amount of C4 strapped to the tower revealing his plan to ignite the bombs and wipe out all the apes. Later as he begins to excitedly arm himself for the upcoming battle with the apes, Malcolm unceremoniously pulls a gun out on him and his men telling them to give him a chance causing Dreyfus to ask who he's talking about. Dreyfus asks Malcolm if he's gone crazy and tries to dissuade Malcolm about his decision of siding with the apes. Malcolm attempts to explain that he's seen how the apes live and they want to survive like the humans not wanting a war. Dreyfus angrily states "They're animals!! They attacked us!!!" only for Malcolm to attempt to explain the situation but to no avail.
Dreyfus then tells Malcolm that even if he stops him he and his men have already made contact with other survivors who were up north at a military base. He quickly grabs a trigger while stating "I'm saving the human race" before detonating the explosives simultaneously killing him and his men (minus Malcolm who ran for cover) and destroying the tower that the apes taken over.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: FirestormEdit
Dreyfus was seen as a man who has been through a great personal tragedy. Before the deaths of his family, he was seen as a loving husband to his wife of twenty years, Maddy and a loving father to their two teenage sons, John and Edward. To the people of San Francisco, Dreyfus was regarded as a hero for all his years on the Police Force and was seen to be always concerned over the wellbeing of others even if it does drive his wife crazy with worry.
Dawn of the Planet of the ApesEdit
After the deaths of his wife and sons, Dreyfus still holds many of the beliefs he held before only he was more passionate to the point of corruption; as he views the apes as a great threat to the survival of the human race .
Dreyfus was arrogant and overconfident, as he stated that if Malcolm isn't back by the deadline in three days, he and his men will go up to Ape Territory and wipe out all the apes. However, when the human colony came under attack by the apes, Dreyfus' army was no match for the Ape Army.
Even after Caesar addressed the humans in English and after the apes defeated his army, Dreyfus refused to acknowledge him and the rest of his species as nothing more than violent, mindless animals and continuously berated the apes, unwilling to accept the facts lying in front of him.
Like his ape counterpart Koba, Dreyfus was ultimately delusional and unstable due to the inner rage and turmoil he felt about the deaths of his family. Even when Malcolm attempted to explain the situation that the apes only attacked them because they thought the humans (apparently) killed Caesar and attacked their territory, Dreyfus refused to listen, and moments before he committed suicide, he claimed he was saving the human race; which was quite the opposite as this was simply revenge on the apes for (supposedly) causing the deaths of his family. It is worth noting however that Dreyfus was willing to live in peace with the apes before Koba’s attack, despite his hate of them, as it would have saved the lives of the people in his community. This is in contrast to Koba, who refused to allow even a single human to remain alive.
Dreyfus attempt failed as the explosion only injured several apes on the tower and only killed a few, when he detonated the C-4 explosives above him; he completely disregarded the fact that the explosion would not only kill him, but his men and Malcolm as well, and only wanted to kill the apes.
- Dreyfus was a protagonist in the Firestorm novel and the secondary antagonist of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
- Gary Oldman's voice was featured in the teaser trailer shown at Comic Con 2013, telling the audience that 4 years were spent fighting the Simian Flu virus and 4 years were spent fighting each other. This possibly means that humans were turning on each other.
- Since Malcolm, Ellie, and Malcolm's son are the human counterparts for Caesar, his wife and son, Dreyfus could be considered as the human counterpart for Koba, Caesar's rival.
- Gary Oldman said in a recent interview that Dreyfus could be considered a protagonist or an antagonist, depending on one's point of view.
- It is speculated that he may play a role similar to Governor Kolp, an antagonist in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Both being the leader of the survivors and bent on the destruction of the apes.
- Dreyfus could be a last name as it is mentioned in the novel, Firestorm that while Dreyfus was chief of police he was addressed as "Chief Dreyfus" and in the same scene in the book he is addressed as "Mr. Dreyfus".