KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Director Reveals Why Andy Serkis Isn't In The Upcoming Sequel

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Director Reveals Why Andy Serkis Isn't In The Upcoming Sequel

Despite playing Caesar in the previous Planet of the Apes trilogy, Andy Serkis won't be part of Kingdom. Now, filmmaker Wes Ball has addressed the actor's absence and whether he could one day return...

By JoshWilding - Dec 21, 2023 05:12 AM EST
Filed Under: Movies
Source: Empire (via Slash Film)

Andy Serkis delivered an Oscar-worthy performance as Caesar in Rupert Wyatt and Matt Reeves' Planet of the Apes trilogy, but he won't be part of the new series of movies which kicks off with Wes Ball's Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

On the one hand, his absence makes sense because Caesar's story ended with his death; however, there's also a precedent with this franchise for actors to play different characters (Roddy McDowall, for example, played Cornelius, his son, and eventually Caesar).

Talking to Empire Magazine (via Slash Film), Ball explained why Serkis wasn't enlisted for Kingdom

"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," the filmmaker said. "And Matt [Reeves] would always say, 'Andy is the best actor I've ever worked with.':

"He's just too iconic, in a way. So we decided it's probably best to think about future movies where maybe he can come in."

That seems to suggest the plan is for Serkis to appear down the line, presumably as the Caesar who took centre stage in the original movies. That would be a fun contrast to the previous version he portrayed and gives the actor a chance to bring this story full circle. 

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' new lead is Owen Teague's Noa, a chimpanzee who may or may not have ties to Caesar. According to the actor, Serkis' work was a huge inspiration to him long before he saw his work in Planet of the Apes

"I became an actor because I saw Andy Serkis play King Kong when I was a child," Teague explains. "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]."

We'll see where things go from here, though something tells us we won't reach the world first explored in 1968's Planet of the Apes until the next trilogy. After all, there's still plenty of fertile ground to explore before we reach that point in the timeline.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, a new entry in 20th Century Studios' global, epic franchise, opens exclusively in theaters on May 24, 2024.

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