Who’s Who In ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’: The New Primates & Cast For The Franchise

Wes Ball’s eagerly anticipated Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set to inject new life into the storied Planet of the Apes franchise, bringing together a dynamic and talented cast to continue the epic saga. Building upon the rich narrative fabric woven by the previous films, which masterfully chronicled the ascent of intelligent apes led by Caesar in their struggle against human oppression, this latest instalment aims to propel the franchise into a new era. 

Bridging the past’s legacy with fresh narratives and characters, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes promises to delve deep into the complexities of a world where apes and humans vie for dominance and survival.

Director Ball, known for his work on The Maze Runner trilogy, takes over from a story penned by an accomplished writing team including Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Patrick Aison, with a film poised to explore the far-reaching consequences of Caesar’s revolutionary actions. Set approximately 300 years after War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), this massive time jump will introduce a new setting with fresh characters left to navigate the legacy left by Caesar, offering audiences a glimpse into the future of both ape and human civilisations. 

Want to learn more about the fresh new faces of the franchise? Here are some of the characters who are part of the new film, and the actors who play them.

Freya Allan as Nova/Mae

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Character: Nova / Mae
Actress: Freya Allan
Other Projects: The Witcher (2019), Baghead (2023)

In this latest instalment of the Planet of the Apes franchise, actress Freya Allan’s  Nova/Mae is a feral young woman navigating the challenges of a post-apocalyptic world. She emerges as a vital human presence amidst a largely CGI-created cast, embodying the remnants of humanity in a world dominated by apes. Director Wes Ball praised Allan for her intelligence, distinctive beauty, and the mysterious aura she brings to Nova/Mae, a character that serves as a poignant reflection of humanity’s past vigour and current vulnerability. Allan’s dedication to her role, embracing the physicality and rawness required to portray Mae’s survivalist lifestyle, underscores her commitment to authenticity, promising a nuanced performance that adds depth to the evolving narrative of the Planet of the Apes saga.

Allan is known for her compelling portrayal of Ciri in Netflix’s The Witcher alongside Henry Cavill. With a burgeoning career highlighted by significant roles, including her television debut in AMC’s Into the Badlands (2015) and a noteworthy performance in The War of The Worlds (2019), Allan’s journey to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes marks her as a talent to watch. 

Owen Teague as Noa

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Character: Noa
Actor: Owen Teague
Other Projects: It (2017), Bloodline (2015)

Noa, a pivotal young chimpanzee at the heart of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, embarks on a profound journey through legacy and identity. Tasked with navigating the weight of his father’s expectations and a sheltered understanding of the world, Noa represents the bridge between the past’s dominance of humanity and the present reality of ape ascendancy. His path to self-discovery and realisation is fraught with the challenges of coming to terms with a history he’s been kept from, marking a critical exploration of growth and tradition within the ruins of human civilisation.

Owen Teague, celebrated for his roles in the It franchise and the Netflix series Bloodline (2015), steps into Noa’s shoes, bringing an essential innocence and resilience to the character that director Wes Ball deemed crucial. Teague’s commitment to embodying Noa’s complex journey from naivety to a nuanced understanding of his society underscores a significant arc of the narrative: the rite of passage into adulthood through a ceremonial bonding with an eagle egg. This ritual, a symbolic climb among dilapidated skyscrapers to select the egg, reflects the broader themes of growth and tradition that Teague navigates with depth and empathy. Ball praises Teague for his dedication to portraying Noa’s multifaceted challenges, emphasising the actor’s vital role in leading the film’s cast through a story that demands considerable emotional and physical investment.

Kevin Durand as Proximus Caesar

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Character: Proximus Caesar
Actor: Kevin Durand
Other Projects: Locke & Key (2020), Abigail (2024)

Proximus Caesar emerges as a pivotal character in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, ruling as a visionary bonobo leader with an unparalleled interest in human advancements and achievements. He is not just any leader, but a self-proclaimed visionary with a profound fascination for human achievements in technology, history, and communication, distinguishing him as potentially the most human-like ape of his time. This character’s deep understanding and admiration of human culture propel him to leverage Caesar’s legacy, albeit in a manner that transforms these ideals into tools for consolidating his own power. 

Durand, with his extensive range of roles in projects like Locke & Key and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), promises to bring a complex blend of charisma and ambition to Proximus Caesar, illustrating his unyielding quest to expedite the apes’ evolution by harnessing the remnants of human technology. Positioned at the helm of a new ape kingdom, his strategic mind and articulate nature command the loyalty and respect of his followers, even as his methods raise ethical dilemmas. With his dominion established near a significant human relic by the ocean, and his throne within the confines of an abandoned ship, Proximus Caesar’s character is poised to challenge the traditional boundaries between ape and human, offering a fresh perspective on leadership and legacy in the post-apocalyptic world of the Planet of the Apes.

William H. Macy as Trevathan

Character: Trevathan
Actor: William H. Macy
Other Projects: Shameless (2011), Fargo (2014), Jurassic Park III (2001)

In the unfolding narrative of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Trevathan stands out as a wise human caught in the complex power dynamics of a world ruled by apes. Held captive by the ambitious bonobo leader Proximus Caesar, Trevathan is coerced into a role far removed from freedom – he is to impart his extensive knowledge of human civilisation and its longstanding dominion to his captor. This position as an unwilling mentor not only showcases Trevathan’s profound understanding of human history but also becomes a tool for Proximus Caesar’s aspirations towards greater power. The arrival of Nova/Mae introduces a significant shift in the kingdom’s internal politics, threatening Trevathan’s already delicate situation and deepening the narrative’s exploration of survival and wisdom.

Portrayed by the Academy Award-winning actor William H. Macy, known for his roles in Fargo and Shameless, Trevathan’s character promises a rich portrayal of intellectual resilience and complexity. Macy’s ability to navigate the intricate emotional and ethical landscapes of his characters suggests that Trevathan will embody a compelling blend of knowledge, vulnerability, and strategic sagacity, offering audiences a deeper insight into the challenges of coexistence and governance in the franchise’s post-apocalyptic setting.

Peter Macon as Raka

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Character: Raka
Actor: Peter Macon
Other Projects: The Orville (2017), Shameless (2011)

Raka stands as a cornerstone in the expansive universe of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, embodying the timeless virtues of morality, decency, and strength that were hallmarks of Caesar’s leadership. This orangutan, deeply rooted in the teachings of the legendary leader, advocates for a world where apes and humans exist in harmony. Amid the symbolic backdrop of a dilapidated airport – a stark reminder of human civilisation’s peak and subsequent downfall – Raka preaches tolerance and peace, urging both species towards understanding and unity. His commitment to these principles serves as a narrative focal point, exploring the potential for reconciliation and mutual respect in a divided world. 

Portrayed by Peter Macon, known for his stage and screen roles, particularly in The Orville and Shameless, Raka is brought to life with a depth that resonates with the audience, offering a glimpse into the profound impact of Caesar’s legacy on future generations and highlighting the critical role of compassion amidst ongoing strife.

As Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes prepares to unfold its story, the film introduces a roster of compelling characters brought to life by a talented ensemble of actors, promising to add new depth to the iconic saga.

These characters signify the evolving dynamics of a world centuries removed from Caesar’s influence, each reflecting different facets of survival, ambition, legacy, and coexistence. With Wes Ball at the helm, and a narrative that seeks to explore the far-reaching consequences of past revolutions while charting a course for new ones, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes promises to be a pivotal addition to the franchise.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes opens in cinemas on 9 May.