Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Villain Motivation Explained By Director: “He’s Right”

By 7 Min Read


  • Proximus Ceasar is inspired by human works and desires for apes to have the same technology, making him a unique antagonist in the Planet of the Apes franchise.
  • He admires humanity’s accomplishments while still hunting down humans, reflecting a twisted interpretation of Ceasar’s teachings and a desire to become the leader of all apes.
  • Director Wes Ball explains how Proximus Ceasar showcases that good intentions can be warped over time.



Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes director Wes Ball breaks down what motivates antagonist Proximus Ceasar, his connection to Ceasar’s legacy, and his surprising beliefs about humanity. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes picks up many generations after War for the Planet of the Apes and is closer to the world established in the original Planet of the Apes. The movie follows a young new hero named Noa who will learn more about the world of the past and Ceasar’s true beliefs as he embarks on a journey that could determine the fate of both humans and apes.

Screen Rant had the opportunity to be a part of an early press Q&A with director Wes Ball after checking out scenes from the new Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Ball shared insight into elements of the movie, including how Ceasar’s legacy has endured for many generations. Ball also shed light on the new antagonist, Proximus Ceasar, explaining how he stands out from not only other villains in the franchise but also other apes. Check out Ball’s full quote about Proximus Ceasar below:

Wes Ball: What’s interesting [about him] as an adversary, I wouldn’t even call him a villain; he’s right. Everything he says in the movie is true, basically. And he is a fan of humans. They were capable of great things. They could level mountains; they could speak across oceans. “They could fly, Noa, like eagles fly.” He’s fascinated by what humans were and how they fell so far, and so he studies them. He’s learned everything about them. He knows more about humans than any ape in any of our stories…

He has a twisted view of what Ceasar wanted. He’s the other character, with Raka telling Noa who Ceasar really was and this new guy calling himself the new Ceasar, Proximus Ceasar. Ceasar’s become more of a title now…This is a cool concept I think for a villain who is trying to make the first ape kingdom. Hes the first ape King. He dubs himself the King.

How Proximus Ceasar Sets Himself Apart From Other Planet of the Apes Villains

Proximus Ceasar can stand out because he is the next step toward the antagonist apes in the original Planet of the Apes. Unlike Koba, who went against Ceasar due to his own fear, prejudice, and trauma regarding humans, Proximus Ceasar is inspired by the works of humanity. He wants apes to build the same technology that humans had and model himself after elements of human history, trying to become the Ape King.

Why Freya Allan’s Character Is So Special In Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Freya Allan’s Mae is being hunted by Proximus Caesar & his apes in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and there’s an incredibly important reason why.

His twisted view of Ceasar’s teachings allows him to admire humanity while still hunting the humans that are still alive. This is not an ape sympathetic to humans but impressed by the technology they created in the past. His desire to become the leader of all apes, their king, is interesting because it is one more step toward the more human-based ape society in Planet of the Apes. He isn’t simply battling for the dominance of his clan; he is trying to become the leader of all apes.

Proximus Ceasar stands out in part because he shows how good intentions can be twisted over time to support the ideas of someone with very different motivations. Ball specifically saying Proxmius Ceasar is right stands out as well, because he isn’t necessarily a villain in the binary sense of right or wrong, but someone who uses the knowledge he has found to help himself and the kingdom he is attempting to build. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes audiences closer to how this world was first introduced in the 1968 movie while merging it with what has been established in the most recent trilogy, and Proximus Ceasar is a perfect reflection of the darker aspects of both.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Poster
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Set several years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the next installment in the Apes saga. Ape clans have taken up residence in the oasis that Caesar sought to colonize, but humans have reverted to their animalistic nature in their absence. Now battling between enslavement and freedom, outliers in the Ape clans will take sides in a newly burgeoning society.

Release Date
May 10, 2024

Wes Ball

Kevin Durand , Freya Allan , Peter Macon , Owen Teague , Eka Darville , Sara Wiseman , Neil Sandilands

Patrick Aison , Josh Friedman , Rick Jaffa , Amanda Silver

20th Century , Chernin Entertainment , Oddball Entertainment , Shinbone Productions

20th Century

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