Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Director Explains Why Andy Serkis Ultimately Couldn’t Come Back To Play A New Role Post-Caesar

 Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes still.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes still.

Six years after War For The Planet of the Apes capped off Caesar’s trilogy, we’ve entered a new era for the franchise with the release of Wes Ball’s The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. While Andy Serkis is notably not part of the series for the first time in over a decade, the director did contemplate finding a place for the mo-cap king during production.

When CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg spoke to Wes Ball about the latest of 2024 movies, he got candid about why Andy Serkis or Caesar did not make his way into the new installment. In his words:

Andy was involved very early on. I talked to him early on [and asked] ‘Am I getting this right?’ I wanted his input and stuff. I thought about bringing him into a role, but it’s like at some point when I started thinking about ‘What if literally Andy Serkis came into it, not playing an ape, but playing himself.’ But then it started to feel like a little ‘wink, wink’. It started to become a movie then, and it took you out of this reality that we’ve trying to kind of make you invest in. So I decided not to go that route. Who knows what will happen in the future.

Following the last trilogy of Planet of the Apes movies, Serkis is an invaluable voice in the franchise. With that in mind, Wes Ball did approach him early in the production to get his feedback.

Ball and Serkis were already acquainted because of the fantasy flick, Mouse Guard, which ended up being scrapped. As the director shared, he contemplated having Serkis debut a new human role, but he later decided it would be a little too on the nose, and perhaps take audiences out of the movie’s experience.

As far as Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ place in Caesar’s timeline, the movie takes place “many generations” after the death of the legendary ape. So it just wouldn’t make sense for Serkis to come back as Caesar. As Ball continued:

The truth is Andy did a little reading once. It was off camera to another actor that was doing a taping. And, he was in the background doing Caesar’s voice. And as you heard it, immediately it’s like ‘That’s Caesar!’ And, you just can’t do it. I’m not saying he can’t do other voices, but there’s just something about his voice that is so iconic now, that it’s just, again, it’s almost a distraction. But hey, I’d love to work with Andy again if we could find some way to do it in a way, I’d be happy to, frankly.

Read Our Review Of Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes trailer screenshot
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes trailer screenshot

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Review: While Not Hitting The Heights Of The Caesar Trilogy, The New Apes Movie Is Still An Emotional Spectacle

During production, Andy Serkis had the chance to offer some major advice to the star of Kingdom of the Apes, Owen Teague and the other actors. As Teague previously told CinemaBlend, Serkis told him not to focus “too hard on the physicality” and to delve into the character just like one would with any human character.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was met with positive first reactions after its premiere. The movie’s reviews from critics and audiences alike have generally regarded Wes Ball’s movie as a success. The film is expected to open in the $50 million range this weekend and become the No. 1 new release.

You can check out Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes in theaters now and make sure to read about how to watch all the Planet of the Apes movies in order at home right here on CinemaBlend.