Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Producer Spoils Caesar's Key Role In Sequel

By David Thompson Posted:
Caesar, Freya Allan as Nova in Planet of the Apes

A Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes producer confirmed the surprise role of Caesar, played by Andy Serkis in the most recent trilogy.

20th Century Studios is set to revive the beloved Planet of the Apes saga, extending the narrative beyond the latest trilogy's conclusion. 

Set almost three centuries following the events depicted in 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingdom will not forget the legacy that Caesar left behind.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Producers Confirm Caesar's Presence

Proximus Caesar in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
20th Century Studios

Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, producers of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, shared behind-the-scenes insights in the latest issue of SFX Magazine. 

They specifically discussed Proximus Caesar's role as the heir to Caesar's legacy and how the spirit of Caesar endures in the upcoming movie.

The new iteration in the franchise will continue the trilogy's narrative and "legacy" of Caesar. Jaffa compared Caesar to the biblical figure Moses:

"Certainly his legacy does. This is hundreds of years after Caesar passed, but he was kind of a Moses character, so his legacy really is important, thematically, to what we’re attempting to do in this movie."

He expanded on the challenge of pushing forward by telling "something fresh and new" while also honoring "what’s come before" and in this case, thematically keeping "Caesar alive:"

"In these kinds of franchises, you try to juggle two things that are equally important. One is as you push forward you have to tell something fresh and new. You can’t just be rehashing stuff you've already done. But you also have to honor what’s come before, and I think we’ve found a way to, at least thematically, keep Caesar alive."

Proximus Caesar, portrayed by Kevin Durand, embodies the inheritor of Caesar's legacy, with his name suggesting a direct succession. 

In the new film, he commands a coastal community and is driven by a fascination with human knowledge and a willingness to disregard the traditional ape principle of non-violence, hinting at a darker side to his character.

When asked how Proximus compares to a character like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Koba, Jaffa said it's not the same as Proximus has "hijacked Caesar’s legacy for his own gain:"

"Well, Koba’s drive and anger really came from the mistreatment he received, and trauma. Proximus doesn’t have that. He’s really hijacked Caesar’s legacy for his own gain and it’s a natural progression, I think. It’s very human, also.”

Silver described the film's antagonist as "optimistic," "ambitious," and "excited:"

"He’s very optimistic, and very ambitious. There’s this idea that an ape’s reach should exceed his grasp… He’s excited, you know?"

When asked about the lead protagonist, Noa (played by Owen Teague), and his interest in humans, Jaffa told the outlet that he doesn't think "he comes into the movie interested in humans:"

"I don’t think he comes into the movie interested in humans so much. I would say he’s on a journey to get to there."

Silver continued the idea, stating that the age-old question (which Caesar faced head-on previously) that Noa is facing is, "Can human and ape live side by side?"

While Noa begins the film "very disinterested in humans," by the end he is expected to alter "his understanding of what it means to be a human:"

"He comes into this movie very disinterested in humans, and very dismissive of them. With this franchise, the question, 'Can human and ape live side by side?' is a question that we ask again and again, and Noa is grappling with that very question. He comes quite a long way during the course of the movie in his understanding of what it means to be a human."

Finally, Jaffe teased how Caesar is "a big part" of Noa's "journey of discovery" in the new Apes film:

"He’s on a journey of discovery, really. But also discovery of the outside world – and Caesar is a big part of that."

What To Expect in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Fans remember Caesar as a compassionate and wise leader among both apes and humans and the enduring philosophy of "Apes together strong."

While Caesar died in War of the Planet of the Apes, his son, Cornelius, was expected to continue his legacy.

It will be fascinating in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes to see what remnants of that era, from Caesar or Cornelius, are still present.

Interestingly enough, it appears that Caesar's presence will be most present in the antagonist, as Proximus Caesar is expected to manipulate Caesar's principles by using human weapons to assert control.

He will contrast the journey of our heroes, a chimp named Noa and a human girl named Mae (Freya Allan).

Hopefully, director Wes Ball will be able to create his own legacy and jump-start a new trilogy of Apes films that will push forward the narrative centered around Caesar.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes pounds into theaters on Friday, May 10.

Read more on Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes:

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Gets Unsurprising Rating

2024 Kingdom of Planet of the Apes Trailer Confirms Movie's Major Tie to James Franco's Will Rodman

2024 Planet of the Apes Director Confirms What We All Suspected About the New Main Character's Story

- In This Article: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date
May 10, 2024
Freya Allan
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.