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

Meet the Men Behind the Monkey in the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ Films

We’re just weeks away from the release of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which is set to kick off a new trilogy of Planet of the Apes films.

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The latest film in the Apes universe takes place 300 years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, so don’t expect to see any familiar faces. And that includes the trilogy’s protagonist, Caesar. But who is the man behind the monkey? Caesar is portrayed by celebrated actor/director Andy Serkis. Best known for his motion-capture performance of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, Serkis has played Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars films The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. He has also appeared in 13 Going on 30, Black Panther, Andor, and The Batman.

But the actor isn’t merely content to star in every major geek franchise in cinematic history. Serkis has also directed films like Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Serkis has won several awards for his work in the Apes films, including the Empire Award for Best Actor for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The character of Caesar also appeared in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), where he was portrayed by Roddy McDowall (My Friend Flicka, Lassie Come Home).

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)


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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.