|“|| Which one's this? Number nine?|
Yeah, this is number nine. Bright Eyes, we call her. Are you watching this? This is unbelievable.
— Will Rodman and Robert Franklin
Bright Eyes was a wild chimpanzee who lived in the West African Jungle, along with her mate Alpha and the rest of her troop. She was marching through the undergrowth with the rest of her kind when a flock of birds scattered in the skies above, startling the chimps into a sudden halt, before they were ambushed by attacking human hunters. She was captured by a group of hunters including Karega, Nderu and The Dutchman, all of whom were killed trying to capture the troop. She was of particular interest because of her unusual green-flecked eyes, and was eventually captured by the only surviving hunter and shipped to Gen-Sys Laboratories in San Francisco for experimental research.
Other Chimps held at the facility included Lorelei, Chambers, Burke and Verdon. Bright Eyes - officially "Chimp #9" - was given the "ALZ-112" drug which increased her mental capabilities. A military-sanctioned "variant" of the drug was administered to Burke and Verdon, the latter of whom was later shot attempting to escape. Bright Eyes soon learned how to escape her lab cell and was able to venture outside before returning undetected.
After two months at the laboratory under the care of chimp handler Robert Franklin and scientist Dr. Will Rodman, Bright Eyes secretly gave birth. As Dr. Rodman was addressing Gen-Sys board members about the progress of ALZ-112, she attacked lab assistant Donnie Thompson, nearly breaking his arm in the hatch for getting too close, before Franklin ordered her to let go. Bright Eyes snarled at the shocked scientist before hissing while darting underneath her covered bench, as if she were hiding something.
Franklin and Donnie later attempted to bribe Bright Eyes to come out of her hiding place with her: "favourite fizzy soda". The plan worked until Bright Eyes was dragged out and almost restrained, but quickly overpowered the two men, leaping onto the paddock door, furiously trying to get back inside. Unable to hold Bright Eyes down, she went on a rampage. She was shot dead in the board room while Will unsuccessfully ordered the security guard not to kill her, resulting in the project being shut down and all twelve test subjects being euthanized. Her baby was later found by Franklin, who asked Rodman to look after it. Rodman raised the chimp in his home and gave him the name Caesar. Trivia: Her name is an easter egg to the original film from 1968 where Dr. Zira names Taylor Bright Eyes soon after he is captured by the apes.
In 2016, eight years after Bright Eyes' death, her son Caesar, led an Ape Rebellion, in the ten years after the rebellion, Bright Eyes' grandson Blue Eyes, was possibly partially named in honor of his late biological paternal grandmother, and a second grandson named Cornelius was born some 18 years later.
- High-Level Intellect: After she was exposed to the ALZ-112, at Gen-Sys Laboratories by Will and his team who tested it on her, Bright Eyes became much more intelligent than a normal ape, a trait that is later passed on to her own son, Caesar. It was unknown how much her advanced intelligence and IQ had increased.
- Animal Strength: Like all chimpanzees, Bright Eyes was very powerful and strong.
- Animal Speed: Like all chimpanzees Bright Eyes is amazingly fast.
- Animal Reflexes: Like all chimpanzees Bright Eyes had incredible reflexes.
- Rodman tells Gen-Sys Board members that Bright Eyes was given her name because of the green flecks that appeared in her eye pigmentation after exposure to the drug.
- Bright Eyes was the name initially given to George Taylor by Dr. Zira in the original Planet of the Apes movie, again because of his unusual blue eyes.
- An earlier version of the script gave Bright Eyes' official Gen-Sys designation as "Female Test Subject #4". The same script named other apes at Gen-Sys Laboratories - Felix, Bam Bam, Monty and Lucky - with Lucky the ape who goes on a rampage and is shot by a guard named Len (or "Guard #1"), and Bright Eyes euthenized with the remaining apes.
- Bright Eyes' information tag shows the year of birth as 1997.
- Bright Eyes was the first of two female apes seen and mentioned in Rise. The second being Cornelia, the wife of her son, Caesar.
- In the international trailer of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bright Eyes is replaced by her son Caesar during Will's lecture.
- In one deleted scene on the blu-ray release, Bright Eyes bears witness to the death of Alpha as he is shot by the hunters while chasing after them trying to rescue her. The same footage of her sad howling and tearful glancing is used when watching his death.