After leading the most recent Apes trilogy, Serkis' primate protagonist will supposedly be absent from this upcoming set of new films.
Set generations after the events of Caesar's Apes movies, Kingdom follows the Apes as they have further built their civilization on Earth, based upon the teachings of Serkis' franchise figurehead.
The movie is looking to release in May 2024, with fans having now gotten their first look thanks to a newly released trailer.
A Ceasar Twist Coming to the Apes Franchise
New information revealed by Disney hinted at a twist centered around Andy Serkis' Caesar in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
As a part of new stills from the Wes Ball-directed blockbuster (and their accompanying captions), fans got the first look at a new character named Proximus Caesar.
This intense-looking ape seemingly derives his name from Andy Serkis' Caesar, who was the primary protagonist of the last three Apes films.
In those Caesar is largely responsible for primates taking over Earth, leading his species through a war with humans to become the dominant fauna on the planet.
Promixus looks to be deriving his name from the franchise's former main character, giving the impression he is the next in line to rule the apes into a new day.
However, instead of having heroic intentions, this character is "likely to be the villain in the new film," according to Deadline.
This could be a fascinating twist on the legacy of Caesar, showing what could have happened with Andy Serkis' Apes character if he had not been as pure-intentioned as he was in the last three films in the franchise.
The new stills from the sci-fi epic also revealed a few other apes set to debut in the movie, including the film's protagonist Noa (voiced by Owen Teague), and his friend Raka (voiced by Peter Macon).
What To Expect in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes?
After the shocking events of the Matt Reeves-directed Apes films, fans are itching to know what this new chapter in the storied franchise has in store.
Those who are holding out hope Andy Serkis will return as his beloved franchise protagonist Caesar, may be disappointed, as the character tragically passed at the end of the last film (War for the Planet of the Apes).
However, Kingdom's writers have made it clear that - despite the upcoming film taking place generations after Reeves' movies - "Caesar created something and left a legacy," and this latest film will ask, "What happens with that? What becomes of his legacy?”
And Proximus Caesar (at least by name) seems to be a manifestation of that legacy. If Proximus does prove to be the villain of Kingdom, perhaps it is Owen Teague's Noa who will be the true heir to Caesar's throne.
While Caesar helped to defeat the humans during his trilogy, he believed they could coexist at points, even helping a young girl throughout War for the Planet of the Apes.
Caesar was never the aggressor in his three movies but fought for survival when he needed to.
What could come to fruition in Kingdom is Noa being the manifestation of Caesar's true nature towards humans, thinking peace between the two species could be achieved.
While Proximus misinterpreted Caesar's wishes and imprisoned the humans enslaving them the way apes were before they rose up all those years ago.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes comes to theaters on May 24, 2024.