Director Wes Ball Really Wanted Andy Serkis to Return in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Andy Serkis’ Caesar may have died in War for the Planet of the Apes, but there’s a glimmer of hope the actor might return as a different character in the continuing Planet of the Apes saga.



Caesar’s “awakening” scene in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was so jarring that its implications reverberated through consequent films of the franchise. In Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar has come to terms that his kind would never be accepted by humans, but that movie did end on a bittersweet but hopeful promise of things to come. The rebooted Planet of the Apes saga was compelling in no small part due to Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar, and if /Film‘s report is any indication, it’s likely the actor might still return as a different character in the franchise.

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Serkis wasn’t cast in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes but director Wes Ball said he seriously wanted to work with the actor for the film. “We talked about it, for sure. Like, ‘Could you play another ape character?’ I entertained that thought for a long time, because I thought it would be f***ing cool,” he remarked. He even consulted War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves on the prospect, and the latter confirmed it would also be great if Serkis could return. “He’s just too iconic, in a way,” Ball said. “So we decided it’s probably best to think about future movies where maybe he can come in.”


A New Actor Continues Serkis’ Legacy

Serkis’ influence will still be felt in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes but through that film’s main protagonist. Actor Owen Teague’s Noa will navigate the new world built by Caesar’s legacy, which comes with new yet familiar perils. Teague admitted he had big shoes to fill so he sought Serkis’ advice on how to flesh out Noa’s character. “I Zoomed with [Serkis] and he said, ‘How can I help?’ He gave me a lot of ape-related advice,” Teague confirmed. “[Serkis] said, ‘You’re not impersonating an ape. You’re putting on a costume of that character.’ So it becomes a really internal process, as opposed to an imitation.”

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Teague said he initially didn’t believe he would be cast in the role, but he would do right by it as a lifelong Serkis fan. “I became an actor because I saw Andy Serkis play King Kong when I was a child,” he explained. “I was so in love with that character, and I remember my mom explained to me, ‘That’s a person in motion-capture and that’s his performance.’ I thought, ‘Oh, I can do that!’ So when this came around, I was sure I wouldn’t get it because it was too good [to be true].”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters in May 2024.

Source: Empire Magazine (via /Film)

Kingdom of the planet of the apes Movie Poster

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Release Date
May 24, 2024

Cast
Owen Teague , Freya Allan , Eka Darville , Kevin Durand , Sara Wiseman , Neil Sandilands

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Genres
Action , Sci-Fi

Writers
Josh Friedman , Rick Jaffa , Amanda Silver , Patrick Aison

Franchise
Planet of the Apes

Characters By
Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver

Prequel
War For the Planet of the Apes

Cinematographer
Gyula Pados

Producer
Joe Hartwick Jr., Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Jason Reed

Production Company
20th Century Studios, Chernin Entertainment, Oddball Entertainment, Shinbone Productions

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