Andy Serkis might not be reprising his role as Caesar in the latest instalment of the Planet of the Apes franchise – but the motion capture pioneer still had a vital role to play in the new movie.


The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes picks up roughly 300 years after Caesar's death at the end of 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes and introduces us to a new bunch of primates played by actors including Owen Teague, Kevin Durand and Peter Macon.

Serkis was on hand as a consultant on the movie and also provided training for the cast to give them some expert tips on how to work with motion capture and inhabit their ape characters, something which director Wes Ball said was vital.

“You know, we're giant fans of that previous movie and what [Serkis] did and what Matt [Reeves] and Rupert [Wyatt] did with the previous three movies," he said during an exclusive interview with

"But also we had Rick [Jaffa] and Amanda [Silver], who wrote the first Rise movie and were producers on the last trilogy, they were writers and producers on this movie. So there was some continuity, just in the DNA, the creative DNA of this thing."

More like this

He added: "But Andy's such a super generous dude. And obviously, he's like, the godfather to us and the godfather of apes, you know. And so yeah, it was fantastic to have his support and his wisdom as we kind of move forward.

"And for all of us, we’d never made this kind of movie before, you know what I mean? Even the actors – they haven't done this before, so it was a steep learning curve, but because they [Serkis and co] did it, they figured it out, we got to kind of lean on them and their shoulders to move forward."

Freya Allan as Mae in a still from Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, hiding among tall grass
Freya Allan as Mae in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Serkis's tips to the actors came during a six week "ape school" process, which was headed up by movement coach Alain Gauthier and which was described by star Owen Teague as a "beautiful" process.

"We started with like, kind of, movement work to help us get more in our bodies," he explained. "And then we started looking at anatomy and you know, ape movement, studying that.

Read more:

"And then we started really getting into who these characters were and, you know, the physical natures of them, how their characters were reflected in their bodies, and their voices.

"And it just became a beautiful kind of rehearsal process for us to... we'd go on these extended improvs, where we would just get lost in these... you know, it started out as an exercise or a game and it would grow into this thing where we just all would become apes for an hour or so!"

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is released in UK cinemas on Thursday 9th May 2024.


Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.