two apes and a woman standing on a beach in kingdom of the planet of the apes
(20th Century Studios)

Is Cornelius in ‘Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’?

The latest film in the Planet of the Apes saga is already in theaters, kicking off a brand new Apes trilogy set 300 years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes. Does Cornelius make an appearance in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes?

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Cornelius and Caesar

Caesar the Ape in 'War for the Planet of the Apes'.
(20th Century Studios)

Cornelius is often confused with Caesar because they are related in the original Planet of the Apes series, but they are two different characters in the rebooted trilogy. In the original film, released in 1968, Dr. Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) is a key character who helps unite humans and apes. He is an ape archaeologist who believes in a sci-fi version of evolution and has a son with Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter). That son is Caesar in the original film.

In the new trilogy, Cornelius is rewritten as the youngest son of Caesar (Andy Serkis). Caesar is the first intelligent ape who leads the rest of the apes to freedom in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and continues as their primary leader in the next two films, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017). After Caesar dies in War, it is implied that Cornelius will carry on his father’s legacy. As a result, in the seven years since the film’s release, there has been much speculation about Cornelius’ future in the franchise.

Does Cornelius appear in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes?

Many fans believed that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes would continue along the same timeline as the reboot trilogy. Instead of following Cornelius’ journey, the franchise takes a massive time jump 300 years into the future, launching a new era for the franchise. This means that Cornelius is not in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes since he has died long before the film’s events. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy him during a rewatch of the older films.


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Coco Poley is a freelance writer, prolific poet, and artist who has been writing professionally for seven years. When Coco isn't writing poetry and fiction, they are creating some form of art or roller skating. You can find Coco's features on comics, TV, games, software, and film across the web on The Stack Overflow blog, How-to Geek, Women Write About Comics, and Sidequest.Zone. Follow Coco's journey as an author or buy their art at http://linktr.ee/youcancallmecoco.