When we spoke to Andy Serkis at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, he said that he’d “love to” return to the Planet of the Apes franchise one day. Serkis most recently starred in War for the Planet of the Apes – and given how successful the other Apes prequels have been, that shouldn’t really be a surprise. Serkis has previously discussed how much depth went into making Caesar as his own character and not just a CGI visual effect. However, his performance and character would have to be radically different so that audiences don’t just get another version of Caesar, were here to return to the Apes series in the future.
War for the Planet of the Apes saw the story arc that started in Rise of the Planet of the Apes come to a close, for all intents and purposes. However, thanks to the “magic” that is CGI and the art of the motion-capture performance, the prospect of Serkis playing a different Planet of the Apes character than Caesar in a future movie, is one that could – and already has been – discussed as being a legitimate possibility.
But when talking about a potential return to the franchise, Serkis did lay out two specifics. There would have to be an excellent director attached to the project and the story the character was involved in would need to be exciting enough for him to return. It’s good to know that he won’t just jump aboard the next script that is thrown his way. Obviously, he has a respect for the Apes series. That respect clearly resonates through our conversation with him at SDCC:
SR: Now, the magic of motion capture means you can come back in future installments, even as another character, would you be interested in coming back?
SERKIS: Oh look, I love this franchise, I love these characters, and the metaphor of using apes to say something about the human condition, it would have to be an exceptional director like Matt Reeves or Rupert Wyatt, or someone of that ilk who owns the material, who owns the metaphor, and if the character was as exciting as Cesar’s been and had as many facets to the character, then of course, I would love to.
Say Rupert Wyatt returned to the franchise, and wanted Serkis to come back too – where could this lead? If they still want to continue the prequel series rather than remaking the original Planet of the Apes movie, the logical next step is right before Taylor’s (in)famous space shuttle comes back to Earth. Maybe not include that moment where Taylor and the astronauts emerge from the ship, but seeing how the Apes’ civilization leads up to that moment in time. How did they get from living beside a lake to a fully-formed society?
It would be interesting to see Serkis take on a role that is the polar opposite of Caesar in a future film. Perhaps her could play a ruthless ape with a hatred for humans; a villain worse than Koba character from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, would be interesting to watch, too. Regardless of what actually happens, the actor has already crafted a Planet of the Apes movie performance through motion-capture that is truly impressive.
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