List of Planet of the Apes characters

The Planet of the Apes franchise contains many characters that appear in one or more works.

Characters exclusive to Planet of the Apes (1968-1973)


Aldo (portrayed by Claude Akins) emerges as the villain in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. He is the general of the Gorilla militia, which mostly guards the outskirts of Ape City, and practices with mock weapons. He is both jealous of his human advisors and of Caesar (and his son, Cornelius, who bests him in the school that all apes must attend) and would like to take his place as leader. Humans live alongside apes in the city, but as second class citizens.

Discovering a large number of (irradiated) humans still alive underground in the bomb-destroyed city they escaped, as he is discovered during a trip to the ruins, Caesar implores the apes to prepare themselves, in case those humans emerge to attack. Aldo uses the alarm as an excuse to corral all the humans of Ape City, break into the armory to seize guns and other weapons, and declare martial law. Meanwhile, Cornelius has been injured falling from a tree branch (purposely cut by Aldo), and Caesar doesn't want to leave his son's side, therefore Aldo can do as he pleases. Caesar only remembers his duty toward the other apes when an attack comes.

Caesar and Aldo fight together, but with the enemy driven back, Aldo ignores Caesar's order to stand down, and leads his forces to catch and massacre the retreating mutant humans. Caesar discovers Aldo's usurpation of power, his treatment of the humans, and Aldo's role in his son's death. Upon Aldo's return from the slaughter, the two battle it out, from the ground to the trees, and for ultimate control of the ape/human society. According to ape lore, an ape had never killed another; the population, aghast at Aldo's sin, mournfully chant "ape has killed ape" while Aldo and Caesar fight in the tree. Caesar avenges Cornelius, knocking Aldo from the tree to his death.

Aldo (chimpanzee)

Aldo is first referenced in the third Apes movie, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, when the chimpanzee Cornelius describes him as the first ape to acquire the power of speech—and the first to say "No!" to his human captors. Portrayed by David Chow, he appears in the next film, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, as a Chimpanzee whose beating at the hands of human guards is witnessed by Armando and Caesar, the son of Cornelius and Zira, who later leads the ape revolt.


Armando is a circus owner, a human friend of Cornelius and Zira, and foster-father of Caesar in the Planet of the Apes movie series. He was portrayed by Ricardo Montalbán.

A believer in Saint Francis of Assisi, "who loved all animals", the jovial, warm-hearted Armando readily comes to the aid of Cornelius and his pregnant wife Zira during Escape from the Planet of the Apes, when most of humanity has rejected them, and even the United States Government plans to prevent their ever having children, since they someday "may constitute a threat to the human race." Armando states that if the human race is ever dominated by another species, he'd like most of all for it to be the chimpanzee. While Armando does his best to help the pair, and conceal their newly born son Milo (later called Caesar), he can't prevent their murder at the hands of Dr. Otto Hasslein. He takes responsibility for Caesar, raising him publicly as a circus chimpanzee, while privately teaching him human knowledge and introducing him to human habits.

In the fourth Apes movie, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Armando brings Caesar to a large city for the first time, after raising him mostly in "the provinces" and remote areas, where Caesar has been unaware of apes' adoption as pets (to replace the dogs and cats lost to a spaceborn plague), which has led gradually to their present enslavement. Armando keeps Caesar on a short leash in public, while coaching him on apelike mannerisms when nobody's looking. All the same, fate gets the better of them; when Caesar sees an ape (a chimpanzee named Aldo) mistreated, he swears his frustration – bringing himself and Armando to the attention of the police.

Slipping away, Armando and Caesar try to formulate a plan to prevent further trouble. Armando already claimed to be the one who cried out, and plans to tell the authorities that Caesar is frightened of cities, and ran away because of the public commotion. He tells Caesar to wait for him near the docks where shipments of apes arrive nightly for "conditioning" and training as servants, and to infiltrate a shipment if Armando fails to return. Caesar does so, finding himself by degrees sold to Governor Breck, and assigned to Ape Management's command post.

Armando undergoes a lengthy, tense interrogation at the hands of the state's authorities, who ultimately believe his alibi, and that Caesar is mute and not the son of "the talking apes". They insist, though, that he pass a screening by the "Authenticator" – a hypnotic device which compels its subjects to tell the complete truth – before he is released. Armando first refuses to submit on gentlemanly grounds, then when he sees no other way out, he throws himself through a window (falling to his death) rather than reveal what he knows about Caesar.

When Caesar learns of Armando's death, it becomes the last straw for him. Wanting revenge he begins to perpetrate an Ape revolt, executed over the rest of Conquest.

Governor Breck

Governor Breck is the main antagonist in the fourth film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by Academy Award-nominated actor Don Murray.

In 1991, the United States has gone from its original form of government to a system of provinces headed by governors, who rule in an authoritarian manner, with many curfews and restrictions imposed, and surveillance an everyday event. Protests and demonstrations are discouraged, or given time limits.

After the death of Earth's dogs and cats (caused by a plague brought back by a space probe), apes took their place as pets – and were genetically engineered to increase their intelligence. Progressing from performing tricks to doing household chores, apes have now become humanity's slaves. The government supports this development, since ape servants seem to lessen public discontent. Nobody considers the apes' feelings or best interests, though, and tension is brewing. Governor Breck isn't fond of apes, but he does enjoy bossing them around, even more than the humans in his charge.

Breck witnesses an ape auction one day, and on a whim bids on a young chimpanzee (through his assistant Mr. MacDonald). His bid wins, and he shows the chimp how to choose a name from a book. The name he chooses is "Caesar", pretending to just point randomly. While he is bright, and everyone suspects he was previously "conditioned" and not a wild ape, he makes a mistake in the chore given him (mixing a cocktail for the governor). Breck decides to assign Caesar to his command post, as a messenger.

What Breck does not know, but comes to suspect, is that Caesar is actually an evolved ape, whose parents Cornelius and Zira came from Earth's future, when apes are the dominant species. Caesar was brought up by Armando, a human circus owner, who taught him about humanity, and how to be a leader.

Armando dies in police custody, to protect Caesar's secret. Angry and mournful, Caesar begins to set up an ape revolt, using his job at the command post to stay one step ahead of Breck, and his attempts to control the apes. Another assistant, Kolp, double-checks on recent ape shipments to Ape Management, and discovers that Caesar was the lone chimpanzee in a shipment from Borneo – where chimps are not native. He reports this to Breck, who now wants to know exactly what Caesar knows. He also wonders if Caesar can tell him by speaking.

Breck orders MacDonald to turn Caesar over the minute he returns from an errand, but instead MacDonald, who learns Caesar can indeed speak, gives him the chance to escape. Caesar is captured by police, taken to Ape Management, and brought to an interrogation room resembling a torture chamber. Strapped to an electroshock table, Caesar is jolted with higher and higher amounts of electricity, while Breck commands him again and again, "Talk!" In agony, Caesar gasps "Have pity!" and slumps back on the table, exhausted. MacDonald leaves, showing no stomach for what Breck is doing.

Satisfied, Breck departs, and Kolp orders Caesar to be electrocuted immediately. MacDonald finds the room's breaker box, and cuts off the electrical flow to the table. Caesar pretends to die, and everyone else leaves. Killing the handler sent to dispose of his body, Caesar decides the time has come to begin the revolt.

Caesar sets the Ape Management building on fire, then seizes the intercom system and pretends to be the governor's spokesman, ordering the guards to release all the apes in custody – even the dangerous ones. With the apes loose, panic begins to spread, and apes around the Ape Management complex begin to riot. More and more fires begin to break out, all over the city.

From his command post, Breck declares martial law, and issues one simple order concerning the rioting apes: "Shoot to kill!" His troops are overwhelmed by the hundreds of apes they find in the streets, though, and nobody can believe the apes have acquired weapons – and the skills to use them, or at least try them out. The apes smash the command post as they take control of Ape Management, seizing Breck, MacDonald and others.

Several Gorillas handle Breck as Caesar was once handled by Breck's policemen; Caesar asks him the final question: Why was Breck so hateful toward apes, and toward himself most of all? With nothing left to lose, Breck admits to Caesar that enslaving wild apes was a way of dealing with his own human impulses, and so with other humans. Breck is taken away, presumably to be imprisoned by the apes. In the fifth film, it is revealed that Breck died in the nuclear war.


Brent is an American astronaut and a main protagonist in the second film Beneath the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by James Franciscus.

Brent is the copilot of a rescue mission, sent after George Taylor's ship was determined to have gone awry, in its flight to another star. Brent's ship follows the same trajectory, and runs into the same problems, crash-landing in the Forbidden Zone, only this time on land. His commander, referred to only as Skipper, is blinded, and suffers fatal injuries, dying soon after the crash.

Once Brent has finished burying Skipper near their crash site, he is wondering if Taylor underwent a similar fate. It turns out he's closer to meeting Taylor than he could have imagined, as he comes across a woman on horseback – Taylor's companion Nova, alone since Taylor disappeared. Discovering Nova is mute, but wearing Taylor's dog tags, he climbs onto the horse also, demanding she take him to Taylor.

Not knowing what else to do, and unable to explain Taylor's absence, Nova takes Brent to Ape City, to look for Zira. Brent overhears an anti-human speech by General Ursus, and his mind reels with mounting horror at the place he's come to: "If this place has a name, it's the Planet Nightmare!" Wounded by a gorilla soldier, Brent takes refuge with Nova at the home of Zira and Cornelius.

Cornelius and Zira (who tends to Brent's wound) help Brent and Nova get out of Ape City, but gorilla soldiers follow them into the Forbidden Zone. Hiding in a cave, they discover an old subway tunnel, and follow it deep underground to the ruins of New York City, and its mutant inhabitants. Brent is tested by the mutants, through their psychic abilities, forcing him to try to kill Nova, and to go where they want him. They interrogate him telepathically.

After Brent and Nova witness a mutant religious service (where mutants both worship an unexploded doomsday bomb, and reveal themselves to be hideously disfigured, from lingering radiation inside the zone), Brent is reunited with Taylor, who was taken prisoner. Their pleasure at meeting each other is broken by the sudden realisation of the mutants' final plans for them both; as their jailer explains: "We don't kill our enemies. We get our enemies to kill each other." Taylor and Brent are then forced by the jailer's mental powers to fight one another.

Nova, who was separated from Brent after the worship service, gets loose from her guard, and finds Taylor and Brent fighting to the death. She is so stirred by the sight that she speaks for the first time in her life, crying "Taylor!" and bringing the fight to a sudden stop. The jailer's concentration broken, Brent and Taylor act, killing him but inadvertently locking themselves in the cell with Nova.

The three break the cell's lock just as the gorilla army invades the underground city. A random shot kills Nova, demoralising Taylor, but Brent urges him to join the oncoming fight. Hurrying to the cathedral, Brent and Taylor take rifles and try to stop the apes from setting off the bomb and destroying everything. After killing General Ursus and several of his soldiers, Brent runs out of ammunition, and he is killed by the gorilla troops. A moment later the bomb detonates, triggered by Taylor as he falls in death, and Earth is destroyed.

In early versions of the script the character is given the first and middle names 'John Christopher', but the names are not in the final film or in the film's credits.


Planet of the Apes character
Species Chimpanzee
First appearance Planet of the Apes
Created by Pierre Boulle
Portrayed by Roddy McDowall
David Watson

Dr. Cornelius is a chimpanzee archaeologist and historian who appears in the original novel of Planet of the Apes (La Planète des singes), and also the first three installments of the classic movie series of the same name, from the 1960s and 1970s. He was portrayed by Roddy McDowall and, in the second movie, by David Watson.

In 1968's Planet of the Apes, Cornelius is introduced as the fiancé of Dr. Zira, an animal psychologist and veterinarian (who specializes in working with humans), both of whom are on the scientific staff of Dr. Zaius. While supporting the status quo, Cornelius has begun to question the infallibility of the Sacred Scrolls, which give the religious and mythological history of the ape society, and is considering the validity of evolution (specifically, from human to ape) to explain the scientific gaps in the scrolls.

When Zira brings Taylor, an injured astronaut who is mistaken for a primitive human, home from the zoo for Cornelius to see, Taylor begins to communicate with them, first through gestures and then through writing on paper. While Cornelius dismisses Taylor's story that he flew through the stars to their world (since he has no proof), he agrees that Taylor is worthy of consideration as an intelligent being. When Taylor recovers his voice, he tries to plead his own case before a council session called to arrange his "disposition". When the ape leaders won't allow Taylor to speak, Cornelius defends him.

With Taylor marked for elimination, and at risk of their own careers, Cornelius and Zira escape with Taylor to the Forbidden Zone—the wasteland where humans are said to come from, to a site where Cornelius had been digging the year before. When Dr. Zaius pursues them, Taylor turns the tables, first capturing Dr. Zaius, and then forcing him to examine Cornelius's evidence for a human society predating their own. Cornelius marvels at Taylor's explanations of the artifacts found, accepts that apes didn't evolve from humans, and those humans invented the technology that apes were rediscovering. Taylor departs from the apes (after kissing Zira goodbye, to Cornelius's consternation), who return to their city.

Between the first movie and its follow up, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius and Zira first undergo a show trial for heresy at Zaius's instigation (who then pleads for clemency on their behalf), then are married and continue their careers. Another astronaut, Brent, appears at their doorstep in the second movie. Zira tends to a gunshot wound he suffered at a gorilla's hands, and Cornelius first shows Brent a map leading to where they left Taylor, then gives him the best possible advice: Never speak if he's captured, or "they will dissect you, and they will kill you—in that order." Zaius also visits to announce that he's accompanying an expedition to the Forbidden Zone, and asks for Cornelius and Zira's promise not to cause trouble in his absence, which they give him. (In the novelization of the movie, though, they lead a chimpanzee revolt after he departs.)

In the third movie, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius and Zira themselves become astronauts, escaping their world in Taylor's spacecraft that was found and restored by their friend Dr. Milo, and traveling back in time to a few months after Taylor's departure. They discover a world run by humans, and deduce (correctly) that this is not only where Taylor came from, but is their own planet from the apes' prehistory. Cornelius has learned the truth about how the apes rose, from reading secret scrolls Dr. Zaius had kept under lock and key, and is able to answer questions put to him by the human leaders—and offer tantalizing clues to both Taylor's fate, and the planet's.

Discovering Zira is pregnant by Cornelius, and fearing a possible ape takeover, scientist Dr. Otto Hasslein takes it upon himself to make sure the baby is never born, and the pair's arrival will not spark a human downfall—inadvertently setting that downfall in motion. Milo, the son of Cornelius and Zira, is born and taken into hiding, while the two try to escape with another ape baby as a decoy. They and the baby are murdered, but their own son (played in the next two movies, again by McDowall) grows up, given the name Caesar by his human foster-father, and leads the apes as the human society destroys itself.

Cornelius and Zira have no roles in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, except in references to Caesar's "real parents" and their prophecies of the origins of the ape takeover coming true, but appear in video stills examined by Caesar and two companions in the final film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, as Caesar tries to learn what they knew about Earth's future. Caesar also gives his son – by wife Lisa – the name Cornelius, after his father. This Cornelius was killed by Aldo when he cut the branch on which Cornelius was.

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third film in the 2011 reboot series, Cornelius is the name of Caesar's youngest child.

Dr. Otto Hasslein

In the Planet of the Apes movie series, Dr. Otto Hasslein is a physicist attached to the space flight project that sends astronauts Taylor, Dodge, Landon, and Brent to the world of the apes. He was portrayed by German American actor Eric Braeden. He serves as the main antagonist of the third Apes film Escape from the Planet of the Apes. In the novelization of the film, his first name is Victor.

Even before appearing onscreen, Hasslein's name is part of the series storyline, as the scientist who proposed the "Hasslein curve" – a form of time dilation possible with the craft used in the movies.

When he does appear in Escape, he explains to a television news presenter his theories of time, and his belief that changing the future may be possible. He analogizes time to be a highway with an infinite number of lanes, all going from the past to the future; by changing lanes, one can change destiny. The theory, known as "many-worlds interpretation," was first advanced in 1957 as "relative state formation" by Hugh Everett, and was popularised in the 1960s and 70s by Bryce Seligman DeWitt who applied its lasting name. Hasslein mentions neither real-life scientist in the film.

Hasslein learns that talking chimpanzees, Doctors Cornelius, Zira and Milo (who was killed by a primitive gorilla shortly after arriving), have actually arrived in the present day (1973 in the movie) from Earth's own future, where humanity has fallen to the level of beasts while apes rose to power and intellect. While the other members of the Presidential Commission appointed to deal with "alien visitors" are initially skeptical of the time-travel story, Hasslein sees confirmation of his theories – and becomes afraid that the pair's presence may somehow set humanity's downfall in motion. As the President's science advisor, he expresses his concerns, resulting in Cornelius and Zira first being taken into custody, then interrogated at length.

Provoked by Zira's drugged admissions of her experimentation on humans, and Cornelius giving details of his historical research into humanity's decline, the Presidential Commission concludes (in a reflection of Taylor's fate before the Ape council in the first movie, with Hasslein in the place of Dr. Zaius) that the couple's unborn child should be "prevented" from birth, and that Zira and Cornelius should be "humanely rendered incapable" of conceiving again, with their ultimate fate to be decided later – at Hasslein's determination, though it appears likely they will be handed over either to scientists or the military for study.

When Cornelius and Zira escape military custody (at the beginnings of Zira's labor pains), Hasslein mounts a full-scale hunt, including searches of all local circuses and zoos. Days later, a carpet bag abandoned by Zira turns up, near the derelict shipyard where they have been hiding, and the pair are spotted soon afterward, with Zira carrying a baby chimp, so Hasslein knows she has given birth.

Boarding their ship, Hasslein approaches Zira, pistol in hand, and demands she give him the baby, as the authorities approach. Before they arrive, he shoots Zira, and fires several shots into the swaddling blankets.

Cornelius had earlier asked Dr. Lewis Dixon, who had told the couple about the shipyard as a hiding place, for the means "to kill ourselves" to avoid being captured, and was given a pistol. Heretofore a pacifist, Cornelius now uses the pistol to avenge his wife, shooting at Hasslein from a crow's nest on the ship. As the authorities arrive, Hasslein and Cornelius trade gunfire. Cornelius kills Hasslein, but is himself killed by sharpshooters, falling to the deck.

Despite Hasslein's intentions, the baby he killed was not the offspring of Zira and Cornelius – and his treatment of their arrival may have just set in motion everything Hasslein hoped to prevent.


Kolp is a government official and later Governor of a band of mutants, in the Planet of the Apes movie series, and the main antagonist of the fifth film Battle for the Planet of the Apes. He was played onscreen by Severn Darden. An early draft script of Conquest gives Kolp the first name of Arthur, but the comic book miniseries Revolution on the Planet of the Apes, from Mr. Comics, calls him Vernon. However, the Revolution comic is not considered canon.

Kolp was a ruling secret police official on Governor Breck's staff in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, displaying himself as sinister, but in a detached, matter-of-fact manner. Kolp supervised the interrogation of Armando, which Armando ended by throwing himself through a high window, rather than confess what he knew about Caesar under hypnosis. Later Kolp tracked down the originating shipment that had carried Caesar to Ape Management; he deduced that Caesar had sneaked himself into the shipment, to appear to have wild origins. Kolp was also present when Breck interrogated Caesar, strapped to an electroshock table, and he gave the order for Caesar to be electrocuted, once it was proven that Caesar could speak and reason.

Kolp survived the Night of the Fires, when the apes revolted and took over, and also the nuclear war humanity then unleashed, all but destroying themselves in doing so, while the apes escaped to the wilderness. Much of the city's governing staff were relatively safe in underground fallout shelters and bunkers; nonetheless, lingering background radiation began to cause physical mutations in the survivors. After Breck's death, Kolp took the few remaining reins of leadership himself.

Several years after the end of the war (in Battle for the Planet of the Apes), Caesar, Virgil and Mr. MacDonald revisit Ape Management (now called the Forbidden City by the apes), in hopes of finding old video recordings of Caesar's parents. Kolp's agents discover their presence, and Kolp assumes they have come scouting for things to loot or reconquer. Shots are exchanged as Caesar, MacDonald and Virgil flee, and more scouts track them back to Ape City. With the city's location known, and jealous of the relative health and prosperity of the apes and the humans living with them, Kolp decides to marshal his forces and conquer Ape City. At this point, Kolp is not only mad, but also vengeful. When his second-in-command Méndez points out to him that attacking the Ape city would constitute a direct violation of years of ceasefire peace, Kolp answer is one of a deranged state-of-mind: "Yes, well things have gotten rather boring around here now, hasn't it."

Kolp supervises the attack, telling his troops to leave Ape City looking "like the city we came from" and to do their worst. When it appears Caesar is defeated, Kolp personally taunts him with a revolver, until a cry from Caesar's wife Lisa distracts him, allowing Caesar to launch a counterattack. Kolp is killed while retreating by Aldo and his Gorilla troops.

Kolp is the only villain other than Dr. Zaius to appear in more than one film in the series.


John Landon, more commonly known as Landon, was a human astronaut, who joined the NASA program some time in the 1960s. According to his colleague, George Taylor, Landon was an ambitious scientist who "wanted to live forever". Along with Taylor and fellow astronaut Dodge, Landon participated in a mission to journey to another star.

The crew launched out of Cape Kennedy in 1972 and spent over six months in outer space. Taylor, commander of the mission, placed the crew into a state of suspended animation, in preparation for the second leg of their journey. While they slept, the vessel was propelled two-thousand years into the future, confirming Dr. Hasslein's theory of time in a vehicle traveling near the speed of light. The ship crash-landed back on Earth in the year 3978; however, no one is aware that they are on Earth, assuming it is "an unnamed planet in orbit around a star in the constellation of Orion." Splashing down into a stagnant salt lake, the men revived and barely escaped their sinking ship. Stewart, the only female crew member, had already died in space, due to equipment damage.

After crash landing on the planet, Landon and his fellow astronaut Taylor bicker as they explore the planet. Landon was an adventurer and a patriot. As such, he found it hardest of the three to come to terms with their fate and argued strongly with Taylor after their crash-landing. Taylor maintained a rigid attitude, while Dodge committed himself towards finding a means to survive on this new world. Landon meanwhile, found himself the target of Taylor's acerbic wit. Taylor laughs as Landon plants a tiny U.S. flag on the surface of the planet near the lake where they crashed.

Later, Landon and Taylor (along with another astronaut named Dodge) are captured by a group of apes and taken to a city populated by apes. During Taylor's subsequent trial, he discovers that Landon has been lobotomized by an ape scientist (which Dr. Zaius ordered) and left a mere shell of his former self. Landon is taken back to his cage, while Zaius later admits he knew Landon could talk, and had him operated on.

When Brent visited Zira and Cornelius in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius told him that Taylor nearly ended up a museum specimen "like his two friends", which suggests that Landon is also dead and displayed alongside Dodge by that point. It's possible that during a skirmish involving gorilla soldiers, Landon was shot and killed.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

John Landon is a different version of the character from the original film; now Landon runs the San Bruno Primate Shelter where Caesar was incarcerated following his attack on Hunsiker. The apes inside the facility were treated cruelly by his son, Dodge, who worked as a guard there. Landon was handed an envelope full of cash in perhaps hundreds or thousands of dollars by Will Rodman and he permitted Will to take Caesar home. However, Caesar realized that if he left the facility the other apes would continue to be abused by Dodge, so he shut the cage door and refused to come home with Will. This prompted Landon to say that Caesar perhaps preferred to stay with the other apes at the facility rather than go home. Caesar later led an escape from the shelter which resulted in Dodge's death. Landon watched the video from a CCTV camera that recorded the death of his son.

The Lawgiver

The Lawgiver is an orangutan character in the science fiction movie series Planet of the Apes. While mentioned and quoted in the first two installments of the series, the Lawgiver only appears in the final Apes film, 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes, played by actor-director John Huston.

The Lawgiver is to the ape society in Planet of the Apes and Beneath the Planet of the Apes a figure much like Moses or Confucius — his writings and quotes form the basis of the apes' system of laws and customs, particularly with regard to humans, whom the Lawgiver declared "the devil's pawn", to be shunned and driven out, if not destroyed outright. Statues of the Lawgiver are common around Ape City; when the gorilla army sees a vision of such a statue bleeding, they panic, showing their regard for this icon.

While the Lawgiver's works were used and quoted daily by the apes, they weren't the only ape writings; secret scrolls told the details of the apes' rise to dominance, but were kept from the masses. Dr. Zaius, the Chief Defender of the Faith in the ape world some 1200 years after the Lawgiver, kept a copy of the Lawgiver's essential decrees in his coat pocket, but kept the secret scrolls under lock and key.

Through the course of the series, the chimpanzee Caesar becomes leader of the apes, and attempts to change the timeline that led to the world abandoned by his parents, Zira and Cornelius, who travelled to Earth's past. By the time the Lawgiver appears in Battle, the children he addresses (as he tells them about Caesar) are a mix of both humans and apes. However, in the book Planet of the Apes Revisited, the original screenwriter, Paul Dehn, stated that the tear on the statue of Caesar at the end of the film is meant as an indication to the audience that Caesar's efforts ultimately failed.


Lisa is a chimpanzee character, and the wife of Caesar, from the later installments of the Planet of the Apes movie series. She was played by actress Natalie Trundy, then-wife of Planet of the Apes original film series producer Arthur P. Jacobs.

In Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Lisa and Caesar meet first in a bookstore, where she is collecting a book for her owner, and then in the City's Command Center where both serve as slaves. Later, when Caesar launches an ape revolt, he makes a speech to the gathered apes (and a few captured humans, including Governor Breck and Mr. MacDonald), and condemns humanity. Lisa, heretofore mute, speaks for the first time, telling Caesar "No!" Listening to her, Caesar modifies his stand, telling the apes to leave their onetime human captors to their fate, and begin a world of their own.

In Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar and Lisa are married, and have a son, named Cornelius after Caesar's own father Cornelius. Lisa is Caesar's counsel, who reminds him of his duties toward the other apes, and also of the humans now in his charge. She also discourages her son Cornelius from playing "war" with his friends.

After winning the battle when human mutants attack, Lisa supports Caesar's decision to free the humans who live with the apes, and try to live together with them as equals.

Mr. MacDonald

Mr. MacDonald is the character name of two African-American brothers who appear in later installments of the Planet of the Apes movie series, as companions of Caesar. While their first names are never given in the Apes movies, they are called Malcolm and Bruce in the Marvel Comics adaptations. Both men are of similar character.

The first, played by Hari Rhodes, appears in the fourth movie, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes as the personal assistant to Governor Breck, and a descendant of slaves who ironically commands slave apes, including Caesar, who later leads an ape revolt. MacDonald does not believe Caesar is the descendant of talking apes Cornelius and Zira, or that Caesar is capable of speech – until Caesar admits otherwise.

First giving Caesar the chance to escape when the authorities are onto him, then sabotaging the electroshock table Caesar is placed on to force him to speak, MacDonald helps Caesar to launch his revolt – which turns into a night of fires and carnage, as apes around the city turn on their masters. He then takes Caesar on verbally at the movie's end, when Caesar wants to fully punish humanity for its treatment of apes.

In the novelization of the fifth film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, set several years after the events of Conquest, MacDonald appears as Caesar's human liaison and advisor. However, as Rhodes was unable to take part in the filming due to a prior commitment, his role was rewritten into MacDonald's younger brother, played by Austin Stoker. The younger MacDonald speaks with his authority around Ape City, though he and the other humans otherwise have little authority over themselves, and mostly serve the apes. When Caesar wonders after his parents, and what they knew about right and wrong and the future, MacDonald suggests that old video recordings of Cornelius and Zira might have survived, under the wreckage of Central City (now called the Forbidden City, after it was destroyed in a nuclear war), with answers to some of his questions.

MacDonald and the orangutan Virgil journey with Caesar back to the Forbidden City, carrying a Geiger counter and small arms for protection. Discovering the intact (though dilapidated) archives, they scarcely have time to play back a short passage of the "Alien Visitors" (namely, Zira and Cornelius) tape before realising that they have also been discovered – by mutant human survivors of the war. The three barely escape with their lives, but Caesar now has some insight into who his parents were, and what they knew about future events.

Knowing that there are survivors under the city, who might someday want to wage war against them, Caesar prepares the apes to defend their city, but the head of the ape militia, General Aldo, doesn't allow the humans of Ape City to help or to defend themselves. When an attack does come, Aldo corrals the humans to keep them from getting involved. The mutants are beaten back, and MacDonald and the other humans are released – but they refuse to leave the corral, until their role in the city is redefined. Caesar then decrees that all apes must stop treating humans as second-class citizens, and they then work towards peaceful coexistence among the apes and the humans.


Skipper is an American astronaut in the second film Beneath the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by Tod Andrews.

Skipper commanded the rescue mission sent to find astronauts Taylor, Dodge, Landon and Stewart, who went missing in the events of the previous film, Planet of the Apes. Skipper was accompanied on this mission by John Brent.

Following a tradition practiced in both the navy and the air force, Brent only addressed the commander of the craft as "Skipper", just as Landon had sometimes addressed Taylor in the previous film.

Skipper and Brent's spaceship passed through a "Hasslein Curve", sending them two-thousand years into the future. The ship made a crash-landing, badly injuring and blinding Skipper in the process. Brent helped Skipper out of the ship, provided him with medical attention and made him as comfortable as possible.

Brent reported the current year to him (the year 3955 A.D., according to their clocks). Skipper was horrified to hear that they had traveled two-thousand years forward in time. He spoke of his wife and two daughters being long since dead. Skipper himself died shortly afterwards and was buried by Brent.

Although only referred to as Skipper in the script, film and the credits; some have claimed that the name Maddox appears on the character's uniform.


Mandemus is an evolved orangutan character in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the final original Apes movie, from 1973. He was portrayed by Lew Ayres.

Elderly and an avowed pacifist, Mandemus appears to bear no grudges toward his former human captors, and wants everyone to simply live in peace. The nuclear war that destroyed much of the planet (including the city which the apes narrowly escaped) proved the futility of weapons and fighting to Mandemus. With such an attitude, the ape leader Caesar appointed him keeper of Ape City's small armory, "and of Caesar's conscience", reasoning that Mandemus would talk him out of anything impulsive or unwise.

Besides his other duties, Mandemus also became a teacher in Ape City's first school. One of his students was the genius orangutan Virgil, who also became a teacher, and an advisor of Caesar.

While Mandemus's appearance in Battle is brief, the Marvel Comics graphic novel adaptation of the Apes storyline provided a longer backstory to the relationship between Mandemus and Caesar.

Dr. Maximus

Dr. Maximus was a character in the original Planet of the Apes film. An orangutan, the highest caste of apes portrayed in the movie, Dr. Maximus is the Commissioner for Animal Affairs ("Animal" meaning "Human" in the apes' lexicon).

Dr. Zaius brings Dr. Maximus to the laboratory where the scientists Cornelius and Zira have given safe haven to human astronaut Taylor. As Commissioner of Animal Affairs, Dr. Maximus notes that the chimpanzees are breaking the leash law and orders that Taylor be removed from the area, which is restricted to apes.

Dr. Maximus appears as part of the National Academy tribunal that presides over the hearing that accuses the two scientists of surgically enabling Taylor to speak. As Dr. Maximus explains, the purpose of the hearing is "to settle custodial and jurisdictional questions concerning this beast, and determine what's to be done with him." As the first seated judge, Dr. Maximus covers his eyes when the three orangutans mime the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" adage in one of the film's many satirical flourishes. (According to the film's star, Charlton Heston, director Franklin Schaffner conceived the idea but was reluctant to film it, fearing it would be perceived as lowbrow and incongruous with the seriousness of the scene.) [1]

Dr. Maximus is played by Woodrow Parfrey, who also appeared in the first episode of the TV series based on the film. Appearing in the first installments of both the film and TV series is a distinction he shares with Roddy McDowall.


Méndez is the name of a successive dynasty of mutant, human leaders in the Planet of the Apes movie universe. Paul Richards played Méndez XXVI in 1970's Beneath the Planet of the Apes, while Paul Stevens played his predecessor in 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the final original movie.

In the second movie, Méndez XXVI is a figure much like a Pope or other lineal authority, with his leadership basically spiritual in nature. His people are the descendants of survivors of a nuclear war, which destroyed most of humanity and allowed the apes to rise to power. Living underground for centuries among irradiated ruins has transformed them physically; their psychic powers increased, as their appearance became disfigured through severe genetic mutation. The underground mutant people wear masks and wigs to resemble their ancestors more closely, and speak through telepathy, saving their voices for worship. They also regard their severe physical mutation as a true blessing of "the divine bomb". During their worship ceremonies, the mutants remove their masks, revealing their "inmost selves" unto their god, and much of their speech and daily rituals are stylized around terms used within the nuclear industry.

Their object of worship is an ancient Alpha-Omega nuclear missile left over from the 20th century and still operational, though its original controls have long been replaced by carefully crafted jewel and crystal workings. They have installed the bomb in the former St. Patrick's Cathedral before the organ pipes, in place of the crucifix. They see their life's purpose as to guard the Divine Bomb, and to keep watch on the apes; should the apes become a threat to their underground life, the Bomb will be used to destroy them. However, what is little understood is that the Alpha-Omega Device, which possesses a cobalt casing around its warhead, was designed to ignite the Earth's atmosphere, and extinguish all life on the planet, not just the apes. Méndez XXVI wears a large gold rendering of the bomb as a pendant, much like a crucifix.

When Taylor and Brent are captured, Méndez XXVI oversees their interrogations, and decides what is to be done with them, and about the apes, who are planning to invade the underground city to seize its food sources. When the apes arrive, Méndez XXVI tries to reason with their leader General Ursus, but is shot down after arming the missile. Taylor later detonates the missile's warhead, ending the battle between human and ape once and for all by destroying all life on Earth.

In Battle for the Planet of the Apes, set almost 2,000 years earlier, Méndez is the first of the underground humans to bear the name, and is a subordinate to Kolp, who became governor after Governor Breck's death, following the nuclear war. When Kolp goes to battle with Ape City with his mutant army, Méndez remains behind, supervising the team who safeguard their "secret weapon", the Alpha-Omega bomb.

When Kolp loses the battle, the default order is to fire the missile at Ape City. Méndez instead rejects the order, reminding everyone that using the missile will not just destroy the apes. If they instead revere its power and preserve the missile through time, they will never lose hope or a sense of purpose. He becomes the new human leader, and his attitude toward the missile becomes the code of the underground humans, who build their society to reflect that code. His successors in turn carry his name, as a reminder of their purpose.

Dr. Milo

In the Planet of the Apes movie series, Dr. Milo is a genius chimpanzee scientist who spurns the intellectual and technological limits placed on the ape society. He was portrayed in Escape from the Planet of the Apes by Sal Mineo, in one of his last roles.

Dr. Milo was added to the storyline developed in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in the interstitial period between Beneath and Escape. Whether Milo was an outcast from Ape City, or self-exiled from it, is not known. Unafraid of "the beast Man" and of human technology (forbidden under Ape law) as he is of reading banned books or visiting the Forbidden Zone, he is a friend of Cornelius and Zira, who also hold liberal views.

In the Forbidden Zone, Dr. Milo is able to raise the spacecraft that carried the astronaut Taylor and is able to repair it well enough to relaunch. (It is never revealed how he learned of the ship – possibly in a conversation with Zira and Cornelius – or of electronics or any other technique used in space flight; his advanced intelligence would have provided some insight, possibly augmented by caches of old human books, or technological data found aboard the craft.)

While Milo never completely fathoms the technology or the purpose of Taylor's ship (and of course its crew are unavailable), he does come far enough to be able to attempt a flight. Cornelius and Zira join him, the three donning spacesuits and climbing aboard, after they become convinced the latest anti-human campaign will spell disaster. Once in space, they learn how true this becomes, as the Earth is destroyed.

Whether Taylor's ship followed a preprogrammed flight path, was affected by shock waves from the blast that destroyed Earth, or was flown by Dr. Milo is never revealed. (From the attitudes shown in Escape, it is probable the apes knew very little about flying the ship, and simply let it follow its programming.) In any case, their trip takes the apes back in time to the year 1973, nearly two years after Taylor's ship originally departed, and makes another water landing, this time floating off the California coast.

Startling their human finders, Dr. Milo, Zira and Cornelius are taken to the local zoo while the US Government ponders what to do with them. Finding themselves in the reverse situation of what astronauts Taylor and Brent went through coming to their world, the three chimpanzees agree to make no sounds around humans, but talk furtively in private, and try to decide how to handle what has happened. (Zira spoils this by openly declaring her dislike of bananas when the apes are fed, heightening the tension.)

As Dr. Milo paces, he draws the attention of a primitive gorilla from the next cage over, who grabs Dr. Milo at a vulnerable moment and strangles him to death. Mournful over the loss, Cornelius and Zira name their son (born toward the end of Escape) Milo, after their friend. To hide his identity, Milo's foster father Armando gives him the name Caesar. Caesar becomes the main character in the next two Apes movies, and the leader of a new ape society.


Nova is a fictional character in the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. In the first two Planet of the Apes films, she is played by Linda Harrison.

In Planet of the Apes (1968), Nova is a primitive girl who is captured by the intelligent and warlike apes during one of their hunting expeditions. American astronaut George Taylor is also captured. They are taken to Ape City where they are paired up in a cell. Taylor, having been shot through the throat by a gorilla, is unable to speak, but when his speech returns he befriends the chimpanzees Zira and Cornelius. They eventually help Taylor and Nova escape to the Forbidden Zone where Taylor learns the truth about the planet.

In the sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), she and Taylor journey through the Forbidden Zone where Taylor mysteriously disappears. Meanwhile, a second astronaut, Brent, has arrived on the planet in search of Taylor. Brent is brought by Nova to Zira and Cornelius, but they are captured and held prisoner. Escaping, they head for the Forbidden Zone where they discover that beneath the surface of the planet is a forgotten city, peopled by mutants who worship a massive nuclear bomb. Under the mutants' mind control, Brent attempts to drown Nova. Later, as Brent and Taylor stand in a cell, she watches in horror as the two men, under the control of mutant Ongaro, try to kill each other. Fearing for the lives of her friend and the man she loves, she speaks for the first time, crying out Taylor's name. The sound of her voice breaks the mutant's mind control and frees Brent and Taylor, who kill Ongaro and then leave the cell with Nova. As the three navigate around the corridors, General Ursus' army invades the cathedral, killing any mutant they encounter; the trio are ambushed by an armed gorilla soldier, who fatally shoots Nova, before Brent and Taylor manage to kill him. A devastated Taylor holds Nova in his hands and declares that it is time for all the apes and mutants to be “finished”, before Brent convinces him that they must continue. The film ends with a mortally wounded Taylor detonating the bomb, destroying the planet.

Variations on the character appeared in other interpretations of the Planet of the Apes mythos. Daena, from Tim Burton's 2001 remake, was based on Harrison's character from the earlier film series. Harrison also appeared in the film, seen as an unnamed woman in a cart. The name Nova was used for a chimp character, played by Lisa Marie.

In the film War for the Planet of the Apes, Nova is a young girl, portrayed by Amiah Miller.[2][3]


Planet of the Apes character
Species Human
First appearance Planet of the Apes (1968)
Last appearance Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Created by Michael Wilson
Rod Serling
Portrayed by Charlton Heston

George Taylor, more commonly known as Taylor, is the main protagonist of the original Planet of the Apes film and a supporting character of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Taylor is an American astronaut and the leader of a space expedition. He is played by Charlton Heston. Taylor's first name is never spoken in dialog; the sources for it are the closing credits of the film and the 1998 documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes. While the character is never given a first name during the film, the end credits of Planet of the Apes identify him as George Taylor. Although no rank other than "Skipper" is given to the character in the two films in which he appears, the character is referred to as Colonel Taylor in Escape from the Planet of the Apes the third film in the series.

Planet of the Apes

In the opening minutes of the movie, Taylor is watching his crewmates enter a state of hibernation aboard their ship (known noncanonically as the Icarus or the Liberty 1), which is accelerating to nearly the speed of light, as he records his final report before joining them. Taylor muses about the fact that hundreds of years have already passed on Earth, in the six months the ship's clock has recorded, and hopes that whoever is receiving his report on Earth belongs to a better breed than they left behind when their ship launched in 1972. He then climbs into his bunk, passing into hibernation, as the ship continues on auto-pilot to a faraway star.

When Taylor and two of his crewmates awake (discovering that a fourth, a woman named Stewart, died from an air leak while they were hibernating) the ship has crash-landed in a lake, on what they take to be an Earth-like, but largely barren, planet orbiting a Sun-like star in the constellation Orion. The ship begins to take on water, then sinks rapidly, barely leaving the three astronauts time to break out survival kits and a life raft, and take an Earth-time reading; the year is 3978, leaving them just over two thousand years away from their starting point.

Rowing the raft to dry land, Taylor assumes command of what they now know will be a no-return mission, but it pulls him and his companions, Dodge and Landon, together and they begin a search for life on this new planet. They also discuss their motivations for joining the mission; Taylor's is his quest to find someone or something wiser than humanity. As they leave their crash site behind, the astronauts first find a flowering plant, then a row of what appear to be scarecrows or a boundary line, then finally a lush valley with a waterfall and pool, where they peel off their uniforms and go swimming.

Their equipment and clothing vanishes. The astronauts follow footprints leading away from the pool and discover primitive mute humans destroying everything the astronauts brought with them. The astronauts assess the possibility of taking command of these humans, but they are interrupted by the sound of gunfire. This planet has another dominant species: evolved apes. The apes hunt the humans, capturing many in nets. Dodge is killed outright, Landon suffers a head wound, and Taylor receives a bullet wound in his throat, preventing him from speaking.

Taken to Ape City and caged, Taylor and a mute female (whom he later calls Nova) share a laboratory cell, and chimpanzee psychologist Dr. Zira hopes the two will mate. When Zira discovers that Taylor has intelligence beyond any human she has ever seen, she takes him out of the laboratory to meet her fiancé Dr. Cornelius. Both disbelieve Taylor's assertion that he's actually a visitor from a faraway planet, but they think he might be living proof of human intelligence – if not a missing link between humans and their "evolved superiors", the apes.

Learning also of Taylor's intelligence, and of his ability to speak as his throat recovers, Dr. Zaius wants Taylor first gelded, then put to death – but first he wants to know where Taylor "really comes from" in the Forbidden Zone, and information about his "tribe". Taylor of course can't tell Zaius anything he wants to know, and states that he learned how to read and write in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Taylor also blames Zaius for what happened to Landon – who is brought to Taylor in a lobotomised, animal-like state. When Zira's nephew Lucius breaks Taylor out of the laboratory, and he joins Cornelius and Zira as they flee to the Forbidden Zone (under charges of heresy brought by Zaius), Taylor deliberately takes a rifle for himself, and declares nobody else is in charge of him, from here on. He also brings Nova, despite the apes' objections.

Dr. Zaius tracks the fleeing party down, but Taylor captures him, forcing Zaius to promise both to let him and Nova escape, and to drop the charges he's made against Zira and Cornelius. Zaius agrees, but nonetheless condemns Taylor and all humans as doomed to folly. After Taylor and Nova depart, Zaius destroys the cave holding the evidence that would exonerate Cornelius and Zira, and takes them back to Ape City under escort.

Finally free of the apes, Taylor discovers that he hasn't been on a faraway planet at all, but has returned to Earth in its distant future, as he and Nova encounter the ruins of the Statue of Liberty along the shoreline. He was devastated to learn that humanity indeed had destroyed themselves, as Zaius asserted.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Heston returned as Taylor for a brief appearance in the second Apes movie, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, as he and Nova encounter strange sights and sounds in what should be an empty landscape. When Taylor discovers a wall where there was none before, he tries to tear into it - and disappears, leaving the horrified Nova alone on their horse.

Later in the movie, another astronaut named Brent, sent on a doomed mission to rescue Taylor and his companions, is fleeing with Nova from a squad of gorilla soldiers into the Forbidden Zone, when they come upon an entryway to the underground remains of New York City, and its mutant human inhabitants, whom as it turns out led them in deliberately – as they earlier had Taylor, through the illusory wall. After probing both Taylor and Brent for what they know about the apes and their intentions, they force the two men to fight to the death, but Nova's sudden reappearance breaks their jailer's control. All three nearly escape, when Nova is shot and dies as the apes attack the underground city. Taylor loses hope, but he and Brent each grab weapons and fight against the apes.

Taylor is shot trying to reach the console that controls the Alpha-Omega (ΑΩ) missile the mutants worship. Rising, he attempts to dismantle its nuclear warhead before either the mutants can trigger it, and destroy the whole planet, or the apes can set it off by their carelessness. Desperate, he calls out to Dr. Zaius for help, who flatly refuses him on the grounds that humans are "capable of nothing but destruction". Taylor falls for the last time, his hand plunging the trigger mechanism with his last breath, and the Earth is destroyed.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Taylor appears in references during the third Apes movie, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, (where he is given the rank of Colonel which was never mentioned in the two previous films) and a few times in flashbacks, but his (and Heston's) role in the series was complete after the first two installments. Heston hadn't wanted to come back, but the studio held him to his contract; he agreed to appear if his salary were donated to charity, and if the original storyline (which had Taylor and Nova surviving, to found a new human breed) were changed to keep him from having to return for another sequel.

General Ursus

General Ursus is a gorilla character in the second film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, serving as the main antagonist of the film. He was portrayed by veteran actor James Gregory.

General Ursus is interested mainly in his own dreams of conquest, glory and power. At a meeting of the ape council, Ursus uses the recent crop failures, drought, and raids by wild humans as the basis for a call to invade the Forbidden Zone, where few apes have ventured since the beginning of their world. Suggesting that another tribe of humans lives there (a belief based on Dr. Zaius' encounter with Taylor in the previous film), and the disappearances of gorilla scouts sent into the zone to investigate, Ursus stirs the apes up to invade, and claim their food source for themselves.

Successful in persuading the apes to declare "a holy war" against the unknown, General Ursus assembles a gorilla army, and marches toward the Forbidden Zone, accompanied by Minister of Science Dr. Zaius — who has his misgivings about the whole adventure, but goes along for the sake of science, and "the faith" of the apes.

Indeed, a small group of intelligent mutant humans do dwell in the Forbidden Zone, underground among the ruins of New York City. While their physical features have been mutated by generations living in the irradiated area, they have advanced psychic powers, which are their only line of defense against "enemies", i.e. any outsiders. Learning that the gorilla army is on its way, the mutants plant terrifying visions in their minds, of crucified and tortured apes surrounded by fire, and finally the familiar statue of the Lawgiver, prophet of the apes, beginning to crack and bleed. Ursus is frightened as are his soldiers. Having gone too far with their exposition, the mutants' vision backfires by instilling rage in Dr. Zaius, and he rides into the heart of the vision, remaining unharmed. It grates Ursus that Zaius has shown him up, but he orders the army to advance, and they soon find the entrance to the mutant city.

With their mental powers useless against the "thick-skulled" apes, the mutants have only one other weapon available — their "god" or idol, a 20th-century nuclear missile with a cobalt casing capable of igniting the atmosphere and extinguishing all life on Earth. While the weapon has been passed down through generations, and forms the basis of the mutant culture, left unsaid (but implied by the mutants calling it the "Divine Bomb") is whether the mutants know of its true destructive power.

Leading the gorilla army into the heart of the mutant world (the former cathedral which now houses the Divine Bomb), Ursus and the other apes are taken back momentarily when first a mutant (their leader Méndez) speaks, declaring "This is the instrument of my god!" then the bomb rises into launch position. Recovering quickly, Ursus orders his sergeant to take Méndez into custody, but the sergeant shoots Méndez instead. Ursus taunts "Your god didn't save you, did he?!" as he falls. Thinking the missile is little more than a worshiped idol, Ursus orders a block and tackle be set up, to pull it down.

Zaius pleads with General Ursus not to touch the missile, knowing only "That weapon was built by Man!" and "It'll kill us all!", but Ursus ignores him, even when the missile shell cracks open and propellant escapes, waylaying the nearby gorillas. Ursus is finally killed by a rifle shot, as humans Taylor and Brent vainly try to stop the gorilla army, only moments before Brent is killed by Ursus' army and a mortally wounded Taylor detonates the bomb, putting an end to the gorilla's ambitions — along with everything else on the planet.


Virgil is a genius orangutan character from Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the final original Apes movie from 1973. He was played onscreen by actor/musician Paul Williams.

A former student of orangutan pacifist Mandemus, Virgil went on to become Ape City's resident scientist and theoretical thinker, and an advisor and friend of Caesar. Apes and humans are both among his students, and he feels sorry for the humans' second-class status in Ape City.

Caesar calls Virgil away from his teaching work, to accompany him and Mr. MacDonald on a trip back to the Forbidden City, to search for recordings of his parents Cornelius and Zira, and information about Earth's future. Carrying a Geiger counter into the Forbidden City, Virgil warns Caesar plainly about the radioactivity and accompanying dangers. (He also authorizes MacDonald to bring a pistol, in case he may "wish to shoot, cook, and eat a rabbit" during the trip; something humans were normally not allowed to do.)

Returning from the Forbidden City (after barely escaping with their lives, from mutated human survivors who stayed underground), Caesar and Virgil reluctantly prepare Ape City for a possible attack. General Aldo, called to action, sees the chance to take power instead. When Caesar's son Cornelius is gravely injured in a fall from a tree, MacDonald discovers the ends of the broken branch, determining they were cut, and he and Virgil deduce Aldo was the culprit.

Virgil fights and leads apes when the mutant humans do attack, calling Caesar out to take charge. After the battle, he is the one who must tell Caesar that Cornelius was murdered by Aldo. Later, he helps to rebuild Ape City, with its new status of apes and humans as equals.

Dr. Zaius

Planet of the Apes character
Dr. Zaius
Species Orangutan
First appearance Planet of the Apes
Created by Pierre Boulle
Portrayed by Maurice Evans
Booth Colman
Richard Blackburn (voice)

Dr. Zaius is a fictional character in the Pierre Boulle novel Planet of the Apes, and the film series and television series based upon it. (In Boulle's novel, his honorific was "Mi", a term in the Ape language.) He is an orangutan and although given a minor role, he becomes the main antagonist of the story in the subsequent film adaptation. Zaius was portrayed in the first and second films of the series by Maurice Evans, in the later television series by Booth Colman, and voiced in the animated series by Richard Blackburn. Prior to that, acting legend Edward G. Robinson also gave life to the character in a short film used to pitch the story's concept to executives at 20th Century Fox.

Planet of the Apes

Zaius serves a dual role in Ape society, as Minister of Science in charge of advancing ape knowledge, and also as Chief Defender of the Faith. In the latter role, he has access to ancient scrolls and other information not given to the ape masses. Zaius knows the true origins of the ape society, how humanity fell as the dominant species, and the reasons why the Forbidden Zone is so regarded, and he blames human nature for it all. Zaius seems to prefer an imperfect, ignorant ape culture that keeps humans in check, to the open, scientific, human-curious one posed by Cornelius and Zira's generation (this is due to his fear of a war of self-destruction). The idea of an intelligent human (such as Taylor) threatening the balance of things frightens him deeply. Knowing the destruction that humanity (with the aid of technology) caused in its downfall, he doesn't want even the possibility of a human resurgence. At the end of Planet of the Apes, Zaius has Cornelius's archaeological findings (human artifacts, predating the Ape society) destroyed, and Cornelius and Zira arrested on heresy charges.

Although cast as the antagonist in the film, Zaius's actions are nonetheless driven by his deep belief that he is protecting the world (at whatever cost) from the "walking pestilence" of humanity, even if his actions cause undue harm to his ape brethren. And despite his animosity towards Taylor, Zaius nevertheless demonstrates a grudging respect for his adversary, calling him by his proper name, and even advising Taylor near the end of the film against delving into the mystery as to how the apes evolved from humans because as he cryptically warns the marooned astronaut: "Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find." The film's final startling image of the corroded head of the Statue of Liberty by the sea shore can be seen as a vindication of Zaius's views as to the destructive, genocidal nature of humanity and the means which Zaius is compelled to employ, even against his own colleagues, from the existential threat of a resurgent human race.

Only once near the end does Zaius truly make what he knows and thinks known:

"I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself....The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. [Man] made a desert of it"

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

By the second movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius recalls how Zaius brought them to trial, but then acted on their behalf. When Zaius leaves on a military expedition with General Ursus to invade the Forbidden Zone, Zaius trusts them both to continue his work. (In the novelization of Beneath, they instead begin a revolt, once the gorilla army is gone.) Zaius meets Taylor once more, in a showdown between the gorillas and a mutant human race living underground in the Zone. Taylor was trying to keep the mutant humans from activating a doomsday bomb, and was shot several times in the process by gorilla troops. Wounded and dying, Taylor begs Zaius to help him stop the bomb; when Zaius refuses (declaring "Man is evil—capable of nothing but destruction!"), Taylor deliberately activates the bomb in his last moments, ironically realizing Zaius's worst fears, as the Earth is destroyed.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

During the third movie (Escape from the Planet of the Apes) Cornelius relates how he learned the truth about humans and apes from reading secret scrolls. Cornelius presumably had access to these while working for Dr. Zaius (or after his departure), or perhaps was granted access by Zaius as a consolation for the loss of his archaeological work.


In the television series, Councillor Zaius serves as a government official, with authority over all the humans in his district. The young chimpanzee Galen becomes his new assistant, but becomes a fugitive with two human astronauts Virdon and Burke, fleeing from Zaius and his enforcer, General Urko.

In the animated series, Zaius again serves as a government official, who holds influence within the Ape Senate, and has authority over both Cornelius and Zira, and their scientific enterprises, as well as General Urko and his military.


Planet of the Apes character
Species Chimpanzee
First appearance Planet of the Apes
Last appearance Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Created by Pierre Boulle
Portrayed by Kim Hunter

Dr. Zira is a chimpanzee psychologist and veterinarian, who specializes in the study of humans, in the novel and subsequent movie series Planet of the Apes. Zira was played in the first three Apes movies by actress Kim Hunter. Unique among the Apes characters, Zira has blue eyes.

Zira is the fiancée (later wife) of Cornelius, and both are ultimately responsible to the Minister of Science, Dr. Zaius. Zira's character and role are essentially the same in both the novel and the movies, though some story details differ. Her work in each involves both working with humans under laboratory conditions (e.g. learning and behavioural experiments), and working on them physically (lobotomy and other brain surgeries, vivisection, physical endurance and tolerance experiments, and subsequent autopsies). Zira is an outspoken liberal by nature, deploring war and militancy (and despising the gorillas, who seem to make both a way of life), and eager to seek and develop intelligence anywhere it can be found. Zira literally stands for her principles—or refuses to stand, as the case may be.

In the original novel, Zira discovers that her charge Ulysse Mérou (caged in the laboratory where she works) isn't a native-born, mute human of her planet, but a space traveller capable of speech, and she secretly teaches him the language of the apes, in hopes of eventually making a public demonstration, with Mérou's consent. Cornelius also becomes involved, helping prepare Mérou to meet ape society, and vice versa.

In the first movie, Zira meets American astronaut George Taylor, who was shot in the throat when he was captured by gorillas, and cannot speak, as the native humans of her world cannot. She tends to his throat wound, discovers Taylor has intelligence beyond any human she's seen, and pairs him with Nova, also intelligent, hoping the two will breed. When Taylor steals Zira's notepad and writes his own name on it, Zira abruptly drops the nickname "Bright Eyes" she'd given him, and takes Taylor to meet Cornelius. Both disbelieve Taylor's story that he's from another planet, but suppose that he might be a missing link, to explain the similarities between ape and human behaviour and anatomy... and the strange artifacts Cornelius found at an archaeological dig the year before. She seems to be fond of the humans that she works with and gives them nicknames, such as an old one she named "Old Timer".

In both novel and movie, Zira ultimately helps Mérou/Taylor and Nova to escape the world of the apes, coming to appreciate each as thinking creatures like herself, as well as having a plain fondness for them. In the movie, she and Taylor kiss goodbye – even though, as she tells him, "You're so damned ugly."


Beneath the Planet of the Apes shows Zira and Cornelius married and at home (after Zira makes a political spectacle of herself at an ape gathering), when another human enters their lives; the astronaut Brent, sent to rescue Taylor but now needing help himself. Zira treats a bullet wound Brent sustained, and she and Cornelius send him and Nova (who met Brent when she sought Zira, after Taylor vanished) back out of the city, to spare them from the latest human roundup. When Dr. Zaius visits, he tells Cornelius and Zira he plans to appoint them as his proxies, while he is away on a military campaign with General Ursus (Zira left her medical gear in sight; covering part of her face, she pretends to Zaius that Cornelius hit her for upsetting the ape council). Zaius admonishes them both to maintain the status quo, and keep their more liberal values in check. Zira and Cornelius promise to do so, and Zaius departs. In the novel adaptation of the movie, they subsequently begin a chimpanzee revolt, with Zaius and the gorilla army gone.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes has the pregnant Zira (with Cornelius and their friend Dr. Milo) making a different kind of experiment – this time space flight, in Taylor's restored craft, the Icarus, when they realize their world is doomed. In a reverse of Taylor's experience, the spaceship travels back in time to a few months after his mission began, splashing down off the California coast. The movie follows Zira and Cornelius (after the accidental death of Dr. Milo) through their discovery, and eventual rejection, by and of human society. A large portion of the rejection comes from Zira's drugged confessions of the details of her human experiments, to the shock of the reactionary Presidential Commission, who declare them atrocities since they were done to humans. Zira was glad she told the truth and understands why Taylor called them savages when Taylor was treated badly. Zira's and Cornelius's account of their origins, and of humanity's coming downfall, further stigmatises the couple. Their baby is born (named Milo after their friend, but later called Caesar), but Zira and Cornelius are murdered a few days afterward. Circus owner Armando took them in when the baby came; Zira switched her newborn baby with a circus chimp when she and Cornelius had to go into hiding, leaving Armando a clue in case they didn't return.

Zira makes no further appearances in the Apes movies, although she is mentioned by name in the following sequels, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes and appears in video stills (while her recorded voice tells the story of their space flight, and of the Earth's destruction) the adult Caesar plays back, to learn more about his parents, in Battle for the Planet of the Apes.

Characters exclusive to Planet of the Apes (1974 TV series)


Veska is a character in the first episode of the TV series Planet of the Apes. He is a pragmatic chimpanzee and prefect of the ape village known as Chalo.

In the episode, titled "Escape From Tomorrow," in 3085, his inquisitive young son Arno discovers the downed spacecraft called Probe Six some distance away from the prefecture that has delivered the human protagonists to their planet. Veska is shaken by the realization that humans have constructed and flown the ship, which is considerably more advanced than the primitive level of invention on his own planet. Veska's fierce reaction to his son's declaration that the humans must have come from a superior culture introduces a core theme present throughout the franchise, that the apes fear the human astronauts will threaten their dominion over the species. "If humans could build and fly a [spaceship] like this," he tells Arno, "they'd begin to think they're as good as we are!" Veska alerts the other ape leaders to the two surviving humans' escape from the vehicle, which starts the hunt that drives almost all episodes of the short-lived series.

Veska is played by Woodrow Parfrey, who along with appearing in this first series episode also appeared in the first Apes movie, a distinction he shares only with Roddy McDowall. (Their two characters in the series pilot are cousins.) Veska's eyepatch was a last-minute wardrobe solution to mask a visible eye infection Parfrey contracted after falling asleep while wearing the dark contact lenses that all blue-eyed actors wore to help the ape makeup appear more natural. The large patch, apparently shorn from the same material used to make his costume, enhances Veska's frightening countenance.

Characters exclusive to Planet of the Apes (2001)

General Thade

General Thade is the main antagonist of Tim Burton's 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by Tim Roth.

Thade is an ambitious and brutal leader (along with his gorilla friend Attar) of the Ape armies, who passionately hated all things human and wanted them exterminated. His father Zaius, who had instilled this hatred in him, knew that humans were once in charge, and Thade vowed to wipe out any resistance to ape rule and being direct descendants of the ape god Semos. He schemed to be given absolute power by the Ape Senate. General Thade pursued Ari romantically but never seemed to progress. Thade branded Ari with the mark of human slaves after she was found gathering with human rebels in the forbidden area of Calima. Thade ruled with cruelty and lived by a Machiavellian outlook on life. Any means justified the ends to Thade. When news of a crashed spacecraft reached him he personally killed those who told him, to ensure the information remained a secret. While willing to get a pet human child for his niece, Thade himself believed the world would be a better place if all humans were killed. When the ape army was halted by the appearance of a spacepod piloted by a chimp, Thade alone rejected the idea of the second coming of Semos. He chased the chimp and was eventually locked into the control room of the deserted space station.

He was shown again in the closing scene, where Leo had returned to Earth in his own time only to find technologically advanced apes in charge and a large statue of Thade in place of Abraham Lincoln on the Lincoln Memorial.

Capt. Leo Davidson

Capt. Leo Davidson is the main protagonist of Tim Burton's 2001 remake Planet of the Apes. He is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.

Leo Davidson is a United States Air Force astronaut in 2029 who accidentally opens a portal to another world inhabited by talking human-like apes and is captured by them. After he escapes from slavery and freeing some humans, he plans to go back to his space station Oberon through Calima (the temple of "Semos"), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes. Along the way, he develops romantic feelings to Ari, a female chimpanzee who senses that there is cruelty with humans, and Daena, a female human slave. According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex, he was pushed forward in time while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did. The Oberon's log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, the first ape, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed.

The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. Realizing that General Thade will be coming after him with an army, he leads a human rebellion against the apes. As the battle between humans and apes goes on, a familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimp astronaut who was pushed in time as Leo does. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear. Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, while being followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo wrestle, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot's deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly.

After the battle was finished, Leo decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles's undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth in his own time. He looks up at the Memorial, and in shock, sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.


Ari was the daughter of Senator Sandar, a high-ranking member of the Ape Senate. She was portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter

She had a passion for life and thrived for a world where apes and humans lived as equals. She was idealistic and despised the way the humans were treated. Ari spoke publicly about her outrageous beliefs, and used her father as a shield from the authorities. When Ari spotted astronaut Leo Davidson in a cage, she just had to have him. She bought him and the female Daena, whom he particularly liked, because she saw their rebelliousness. From there she became captivated by Leo whom she viewed as unique. Ari helped Leo and a band of others escape Ape City and followed them into the Forbidden Zone. General Thade, a suitor for her affections, explained this escape as a kidnapping of Ari and used this to justify his absolute power under martial law. Thade's army marched on humanity, and Ari and her human friends waited in Calima for their arrival. She may have struggled to live up to her ideals but was the vital link between the human rebels and the more sympathetic members of ape society.

Colonel Attar

Attar was the commander of the Ape Armies. He was the loyal lieutenant of General Thade and enjoyed the thrill of hunting humans. He was portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan.

Attar demanded that everyone bow their heads before dinner so a prayer to Semos could be delivered. He even went into a rage after Leo deliberately set the tent where Attar kept his personal shrine of Semos on fire. Attar learned the art of fighting under his teacher Krull, whom he had to fight and kill in the ultimate battle. When the spacepod piloted by Pericles landed on the battle field, he and the other ape soldiers dropped their weapons believing it was the return of their god. He realized that Thade, Thade's father, and the elders of ape society had been misleading the population for centuries and he took the side of Leo, Ari and the humans.

Characters exclusive to Planet of the Apes (2011-2017)


Dreyfus is a fictional character in the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as the secondary antagonist. He is portrayed by Gary Oldman.

He is a former Army soldier and police officer who is appointed as the leader of the human resistance. Having lost his wife and children to the Simian Flu, Dreyfus sees Caesar and his colony as a threat after discovering an ape encampment at a local power station. Seeing no other solution, Dreyfus has one goal: to wipe them all out. Dreyfus sacrifices himself to blow up the skyscraper to kill the apes; his plan fails, though it does kill Koba.

Steven Jacobs

Steven Jacobs is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 2011 series reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by David Oyelowo. His last name is a reference to Arthur P. Jacobs, the producer of the original Planet of the Apes series.

He ran the Gen-Sys Laboratories where Dr. Will Rodman was researching a cure to Alzheimer's disease. After two years in charge of the lab, Jacobs shut down research on the 'ALZ-112' drug after one of Rodman's chimps went berserk. It was only eight years later, when Rodman revealed he had used the drug on his own father with limited results, that Jacobs approved development of a refined version.

However, Jacobs ordered further testing of the "ALZ-113" virus despite Rodman's warnings, caring only for the profits to be made on the success of the virus. Later on, Caesar escaped the San Bruno Primate Shelter along with all the other apes housed there, having first infected them with the ALZ-113. Caesar then went on to stage an attack on Gen-Sys and rescue the apes being held captive there by Jacobs and his staff. After the attack, Jacobs flagged down a San Francisco Police helicopter being commanded by Police Chief John Hamil, and directed them to attack and attempt to destroy the ape rebellion now taking place on the Golden Gate Bridge, in hopes of avoiding bad publicity for Gen-Sys and himself. Once the helicopter arrived at the bridge, Caesar and the other apes were already in the process of defeating the police force opposing them. The helicopter began firing on the apes, killing several, until Jacobs spotted Caesar and attempted to have the chopper pilot gun him down. Buck, a silverback gorilla, tossed Caesar aside and caused the helicopter to crash on to the very edge of the bridge by jumping on it and attacking Hamil and the pilot, which resulted in Buck's death. Jacobs was the only survivor from the crash and pleaded for Caesar to help him out of the helicopter before it tipped over the side of the bridge. However, Caesar turned his back on Jacobs because of all the pain and suffering he'd caused the apes for his own greed, as well as for Buck's death. Just as Caesar turned away, Koba, an ape that Jacobs ordered testing on earlier, walked up to the crashed helicopter and, despite Jacobs asking for help, callously pushed it—and a screaming Jacobs—over the side of the bridge and into the water far below, killing him.


Koba is a scar-faced bonobo who has spent most of his life in laboratories and holds a grudge against humans in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Koba is portrayed by Christopher Gordon in Rise and Toby Kebbell in Dawn.

Koba was tested with the ALZ-113 drug by Will Rodman. Koba has a strong hatred of humans because of his past as a test subject. When Caesar freed all of the apes at the lab including Koba, Koba respected Caesar for freeing him. When Buck died at the Golden Gate Bridge, Caesar allowed Koba to kill Steven Jacobs. Koba killed Steven Jacobs by pushing him off the bridge into the water. While Will was looking for Caesar in the Muir Woods, Koba attacked him and was about to kill him. Instead, Caesar stopped Koba from killing Will, which left Koba very angry.

Koba returns in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as the main antagonist. He is now a lieutenant and close friend of Caesar, who treats him like a brother. However, when surviving humans appear, Koba's darker nature reemerges and he begins pushing for open war against the humans, considering them a threat and remembering all the torture he suffered at their hands. Caesar wants peace with the humans, putting him and Koba at odds, and eventually leading to a brutal brawl between the two which nearly kills Koba. Despite being spared and forgiven for his insolence, Koba decides to overthrow Caesar and shoots him with a human rifle under cover of darkness, causing him to fall off a cliff. Framing the humans for Caesar's "death", Koba leads the ape colony in a vicious attack against the humans. Despite heavy casualties, Koba and the apes win, killing many humans and imprisoning the rest to show them what it feels like to be in a cage. However, Caesar is revealed to have survived Koba's assassination attempt, and the two fight for leadership of the tribe. Caesar eventually manages to overpower Koba and tackles him, leaving him clinging for dear life on the ledge of a shaft in the centre of a partially finished skyscraper. Koba hypocritically begs for mercy, but Caesar disowns him as an ape and lets him fall to his death.

In War for the Planet of the Apes, Koba appears twice as a hallucination to Caesar, who was mentally scarred by his decision to kill him.

Dodge Landon

Dodge Landon is the secondary antagonist of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He worked as a guard at his father's primate detention facility, where Dodge enjoys abusing the apes. He was portrayed by Tom Felton. His first and last name are references to two of the astronauts Dodge and Landon in the original Planet of the Apes.

Dodge made Caesar's life miserable at the facility, including hosing him down in his cage to "show him who's the boss". When Dodge finds Caesar in the facility's common area alone a struggle ensues and Caesar speaks for the first time - yelling "No!" and then cages him. Dodge escapes - and wielding his cattle-prod - threatens to "skin each and every one of you apes". Caesar uses the water hose on Dodge in defense, electrocuting him to death.


Malcolm is a fictional character in the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He is portrayed by Jason Clarke.

He is a leader of a small group that forms a strong bond with Caesar - to the extent that Caesar compares him to Will - and is also the father of Alexander.


Nova, portrayed by Amiah Miller, is a bold and kind war orphan whom Maurice adopts as his daughter.[4][5]

Nova is a victim of a mutated version of the Simian Flu virus that killed most of the human population while making the apes intelligent; this new strain of the virus robs humans of the ability to speak, and causes them to regress to a more primitive mentality. The initially unnamed Nova is discovered living in an isolated house, with only a man presumed to be her caretaker for company; when her house is discovered by a small ape patrol consisting of Caesar, Maurice, Rocket and Luca, her father is killed when he attempts to shoot the apes, and Maurice encourages Caesar to take the girl with them as she will die on her own. The girl accompanies the apes as they travel, winning them over with her simple compassion, as well as demonstrating the ability to learn some elements of sign language. When the apes discover the facility where the ruthless Colonel is keeping the rest of their pack prisoner, Caesar is captured during an attempted raid, and learns about the Colonel's plans to wipe out any humans infected with the new virus. While Caesar is held in a cage, deprived of food and water, the girl sneaks into the camp to give him water from a bucket and grain provided by the other apes, as well as her old doll for comfort. Rocket subsequently allows himself to be captured to give the girl a chance to escape. The doll is later found by the Colonel who unknowingly contracts the mutated virus from it. While helping Maurice dig a tunnel into the apes' cage from an existing underground path, the girl asks if she can be an ape, but Maurice tells her instead that she is "Nova", after an emblem scavenged from a Chevy Nova and given to her by Bad Ape. After the apes escape and the Colonel's facility is destroyed in an avalanche, Nova accompanies the apes to their new home, and is last shown playing with Caesar's son Cornelius.

Charles Rodman

Charles Rodman is a fictional character in the 2011 series reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by John Lithgow.

He was the father of scientist Dr. Will Rodman and the adoptive grandfather of Caesar. Once a talented pianist and professional music teacher who earned an honorary certificate, Charles began to suffer from Alzheimer's disease, which his son (either through coincidence or design) researched a cure for at the Gen-Sys Laboratories. He had been cared for during his illness by a nurse named Irena, who couldn't stand Charles' behavior due to Alzheimer's disease and wished that he would leave the house to stay at a shelter. Although trials of the 'ALZ-112' were called off, Will adopted the baby chimp Caesar, who had been exposed to the drug. Three years later, noticing its effects on Caesar, he administered the drug to Charles, who immediately recovered his mental abilities and was once again able to play the piano. For five years they lived a happy life, with Charles taking care of Caesar when the chimpanzee was a newborn.

Charles was on bad terms with his hot-headed neighbor Douglas Hunsiker on two occasions. The first time was when Hunsiker used a baseball bat in an attempt to strike Caesar when he entered his garage to ride a bicycle, with Charles stating, "He just wanted to play". The second and worst time was when Charles, having become immune to the drug and suffering once again from Alzheimer's, got into Hunsiker's car and tried to drive it, damaging the front and back of the car by bumping into the cars it was parked between. Hunsiker grabbed Charles out of his car and decided to get out his phone to call the police. Charles tried to grab the cell phone away from Hunsiker. Caesar saw the situation through a window and although not aware of why Hunsiker was angry at Charles, was aware that his grandfather figure was being threatened. To save him, Caesar attacked Hunsiker, refusing to let him run off to his house. After Caesar bit Hunsiker's finger, Charles yelled at Caesar to stop. Their last moment together was when Caesar and Charles hugged each other, fearing what consequences awaited Caesar with Charles trying to comfort him.

Will Rodman

Planet of the Apes character
Will Rodman
Species Human
First appearance Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Last appearance Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Created by Rick Jaffa Amanda Silver
Portrayed by James Franco

Dr. Will Rodman is a fictional character in the 2011 series reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He was portrayed by James Franco.

Dr. Will Rodman is a young scientist working at Gen-Sys Industries, a pharmaceutical company in San Francisco. He has been working over five years on a cure for Alzheimer's disease, which his father Charles Rodman (played by John Lithgow), a former music teacher, is suffering from. An ape from Africa is captured and taken to the company, and is given the drug codenamed ALZ-112; which experiments have shown allows the brain to repair itself by recreating its cells, with the only known side-effect being a change in the eyes iris to green. He and Steven Jacobs (played by David Oyelowo), the executive overseeing the progress, decides to present it to the Board to move the testing to the next phase of clinical trials on humans. The captured ape that was given the drug, Chimp 9 a.k.a. "Bright Eyes" is seen attacking the handlers and goes on a rampage which ends with her getting shot. Too late, Franklin the ape handler, and Will realized that it wasn't the drug that made her attack, but her newborn baby chimp whom her maternal primal instincts felt she needed to protect against the humans. The project is scrapped and all the other apes tested with the drug are ordered to be put down. However, Franklin cannot bring himself to kill the baby chimp and pleas with Will to take the baby chimp home instead.

Will adopts the baby chimp and names him "Caesar". 3 years later, Will is witnessing the severe side effects of his father's disease, while Caesar grows more intelligent—this convinces him to steal some of the drugs from the lab and use it on his father. His father is shown to have made an instant recovery; moving five more years forward Charles has been receiving routine doses via injection of ALZ-112. In the five years past, Caesar is also displaying great intellectual prowess and is now an adult chimp, who yearns to explore beyond his surrounding and starts questioning his identity after he sees a German Shepherd on a collared leash like the one he has on. He signs to Will if he's a pet, which Will adamantly states no. He then signs to Will what he is, and Will says, "I'm your father", which he follows with a sign, "What is Caesar?" Will decides to tell Caesar the truth and takes him to Gen-Sys and tells him that he works there, and that Caesar was born there, and his mother was given medicine along with other chimps. He explains to him that the medicine that was given to his mother passed through to him in-vitro, and that's why his intelligence is so high. He also tells Caesar that his mother is dead.

Will's father (whose body is fighting the artificial virus with antibodies being naturally created by the immune system), attempts to drive the neighbor's car in one of his states of dementia; the angered neighbor is being confrontational to Charles, and Caesar attacks the neighbor, biting off the finger that he was poking Charles repeatedly with. Caesar is taken to the San Bruno primate facility by animal control, and is kept there, when a concerned Will says that "he hasn't spent any time with other chimps". Heartbroken, Caesar is treated violently by the staff and other ape inmates. Will has been working on a stronger viral strain since he realizes that the immune system will eventually built an immunity to ALZ-112 (just like when someone is injected with a vaccination). After meeting with Jacobs and revealing he's given his father the drug (there-by already having a human trial phase), Jacobs gives him the okay to test the new strain, named ALZ-113.

The new drug is given on an ape named Koba, who in a moment of fit during the administering knocks a gas mask off of Franklin. The ALZ-113, unlike the 112, is not injected but inhaled instead (which also means that the virus is airborne). The new drug seems to work on Koba, but Will quits after he realizes that he's unable to change the mind of the greedy Jacobs. Will tried to test the ALZ-113 on Charles, but he refused and died the next morning from Alzheimer's. Franklin is later approaching the Rodman house for help realizing that he's been infected by the virus, but sneezes blood on the neighbor.

Will tries to take Caesar home by bribing the owner of the primate facility, who takes the bribe, but is refused by Caesar himself to go, believing he belongs there more so than with Will. Caesar realizes after befriending another ape, who also knows how to sign from being in the circus, that he needs to make the apes more intelligent if they are to break from their bondage. Caesar manages to escape and return to his former home, where he knows that Will use to keep stolen tubes of the original ALZ-112 in the refrigerator. However, he finds the new 113 instead, and upon accidentally pressing the cap, a little bit of the virus is released on to the window pane and absorbed, letting the intelligent Caesar realize that the virus can be absorbed as it's a gas. He releases the 113 down the corridor of where the apes are held in cages, and the virus fills the air with its gas. The next day, Caesar inspects every ape passing through to see if its eyes are green, thereby knowing if that ape has the virus or not. He leads a revolution against their captors and heads towards Gen-Sys, and proceeds to break out all the lab chimps and all the apes at the zoo. After fighting their way towards the Golden Gate and towards the Redwood Grove, Will calls for Caesar, but is attacked by Koba, but stopped by Caesar. Will tries to reason with him by trying to take him home. Caesar speaks to him, "Caesar is home", and they part as the apes are overlooking San Francisco. Caesar appears to take on more human characteristic, like walking upright, riding a horse, and now speaking.

In a post credits scene, Will's neighbor, Douglas Hunsiker (David Hewlett) who has been unknowingly infected with the virus, later boards a plane to Paris, spreading the humanity-killing virus to France and then around the globe via airline flight routes.

Will reappears in a cameo during Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which takes place ten years later with the virus having become a global disaster, which Will is believed to have succumbed. A wounded Caesar and the group retreat to the Rodman house, which has fallen into disarray and neglect. Caesar and the group see a framed photo of Will interacting with Caesar, who also finds a video camera showing Will teaching Caesar sign language. When asked by human ally Malcolm as to who Will was, an emotional Caesar says that Will was a good man like Malcolm.


Werner is a fictional character in the 2014 sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He is portrayed by Jocko Sims. He is an ally of Dreyfus.

Other characters from War for the Planet of the Apes

  • "Bad Ape", portrayed by Steve Zahn, a common chimpanzee who lived formerly in a zoo before the Simian Flu outbreak and spent his days as a hermit before joining Caesar's tribe.[6][7]
  • Maurice, portrayed by Karin Konoval, is a wise and benevolent Bornean orangutan who is Caesar's adviser and third-in-command.[8] His name is a reference to Maurice Evans who portrays Dr. Zaius in the original Planet of the Apes saga.[9]
  • Rocket, portrayed by Terry Notary, is a common chimpanzee who is Caesar's brother figure and second-in-command.[10]
  • Cornelia, portrayed by Judy Greer, is Caesar's wife.[8] She is executed by the Colonel in War.
  • Blue Eyes, portrayed by Max Lloyd-Jones, Caesar and Cornelia's oldest son.[11] Blue Eyes is executed by the Colonel in War.
  • Cornelius, portrayed by Devyn Dalton, Caesar and Cornelia's youngest son and Blue Eyes' younger brother. Dalton previously played Cornelia in Rise.
  • Luca, portrayed by Michael Adamthwaite, a virtuous western lowland gorilla who acts as Caesar's fourth-in-command. Luca is fatally injured by soldiers in War, and shares a goodbye with Caesar before peacefully dying.
  • Red, portrayed by Ty Olsson, is a western lowland gorilla traitor who was once a follower of Koba and now serves the Colonel to defeat Caesar. During the final battle, Red redeems himself by saving Caesar's life and is executed by an Alpha-Omega soldier for his treachery.
  • Winter, portrayed by Aleks Paunovic, an albino western lowland gorilla in Caesar's tribe.[12] Winter, fearing for his life, betrays Caesar to the Colonel and Red. Winter realizes he has made a mistake, and begins considering deserting the Colonel, but is attacked by Caesar, who refuses to forgive him. When trying to stop Winter from alerting passing soldiers of Caesar's presence, Caesar inadvertently asphyxiates him.
  • Spear, portrayed by Alessandro Juliani, a common chimpanzee in Caesar's tribe. Spear is one of the many apes captured and enslaved by the Colonel, and is later crucified..
  • Lake, portrayed by Sara Canning, the mate of Caesar's son Blue Eyes.[13]
  • Colonel J. Wesley McCullough, portrayed by Woody Harrelson,[14] an iron-fisted soldier obsessed with wiping out Caesar and his tribe to preserve his people's role as the dominant species.[15] The Colonel is eventually infected with the mutated strain of the Simian Flu through contact with Nova's doll. Unable to speak, he begs Caesar to kill him, but Caesar refuses and he commits suicide instead.
  • Preacher, portrayed by Gabriel Chavarria, is a human soldier.[16] An expert marksman, Preacher mortally wounds Caesar with his crossbow before being killed by Red with a grenade launcher.
  • Boyle, portrayed by Chad Rook,[17] is a human soldier racist against apes, frequently snapping at the apes allied with the Colonel. Boyle is dragged down to the apes’ tunnel by Maurice, where he is killed.


  1. Russo, Joe (2001). Planet of the Apes Revisited: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Classic Science Fiction Saga. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 71–72. ISBN 0-312-25239-0.
  2. Pedersen, Erik (October 13, 2015). "Eugene Cordero Heads To 'Kong: Skull Island'; Amiah Miller Joins 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'". Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  3. Sullivan, Kevin P. (December 22, 2016). "War for the Planet of the Apes brings back original series character". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  4. Pedersen, Erik (October 13, 2015). "Eugene Cordero Heads To 'Kong: Skull Island'; Amiah Miller Joins 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'". Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  5. Sullivan, Kevin P. (December 22, 2016). "War for the Planet of the Apes brings back original series character". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  6. Sneider, Jeff (October 12, 2015). "Steve Zahn to Play New Ape in Next 'Planet of the Apes' Movie". TheWrap. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  7. Han, Angie (December 26, 2016). "War for the Planet of the Apes: Steve Zahn Interview". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  8. Kit, Borys (October 20, 2015). "Judy Greer Returning to 'Planet of the Apes' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  9. Rebecca Keegan (August 11, 2011). "'Rise of the Planet of the Apes': 21 nods to classic 'Apes'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-11-06.
  10. Trumbore, Dave (November 23, 2015). "First Look at 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Reveals Motion-Capture Mayhem". Collider. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  11. Ghosh, Subhro (October 28, 2015). "'War for the Planet of the Apes' Commences Filming in Vancouver; Sara Canning, Judy Greer and Aleks Paunovic Join the Cast". Movie News Guide. Retrieved May 30, 2016.
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  13. "Sara Canning To Monkey Around In 'War For The Planet Of The Apes'". Deadline. October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
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