'War for the Planet of the Apes' Cast Talks Movie's Ending and Its Connection to the Original Film

Warning: This post and video reveal big spoilers for the ending of War of the Planet of the Apes

It’s almost unheard of for an actor to be able to follow the full arc of a character’s life from infancy to death. But through the magic of motion capture, Andy Serkis has been able to portray his ape alter ego, Caesar, from his earliest days in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes to his final moments in the just-released War for the Planet of the Apes. “It’s Apehood,” Serkis tells Yahoo Movies with a laugh, a reference to Richard Linklater‘s acclaimed 2014 film, Boyhood, which follows its central character from age 6 to age 18. (Watch our video interview above.)

Of course, Boyhood has a much happier ending than War, which concludes with a mortally wounded Caesar passing away just after leading his ape tribe to their promised land. “It’s very befitting that in order for Caesar to become this legendary figure in ape history, obviously he had to pass,” Serkis says, revealing that he filmed his death scene midway through the shoot rather than at the very end.

So now that Caesar has died, we’ve arrived at the point in the franchise timeline where his son Cornelius will be meeting Charlton Heston‘s astronaut, right? Not so fast. War director Matt Reeves pointedly says that this new trilogy won’t lead directly into the original 1968 film. “These movies will never meet up exactly, but they are in a dialogue,” Reeves explains, pointing to how his youthful version of Nova, for example, isn’t intended to grow into Heston’s love interest. “She is an answer to how there was a character like Nova. The humans are mute [in the 1968 film], and why are they mute? We thought we could explore this sort of story and give her that name so she becomes an answer to that question.”

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Stars Reveal How It Evolved From ‘Planet of the Mo-Cap Actors’:

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