|Continuity||Rise of the Planet of the Apes|
| First Appearance: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Last Appearance: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- - Caesar
Caesar was a genetically altered chimpanzee whose parents, Bright Eyes and Alpha, were wild chimps in the jungles of the Congo . With Alpha shot by hunters, Bright Eyes was shipped to Gen-Sys Laboratories in San Francisco for experimental research. Dr. Will Rodman, trying to cure the Alzheimer's Disease that afflicted his father Charles, had been working with apes using 'ALZ-112' - a genetically engineered retrovirus that can get into brain tissue and restore functionality - for five years. Bright Eyes was given the ALZ-112 drug which not only repaired brain cells, but increased her mental capabilities. Much to everyone's shock, Bright Eyes went on a rampage two months into her trial, before security was forced to kill her in front of board members, thus destroying any chance of developing ALZ-112 further. It was then discovered, however, that Bright Eyes' aggression was not due to the drug, but due to her maternal instinct to protect her baby, to whom she had secretly given birth a day or two earlier. Will's boss, Steven Jacobs, ordered all the test chimpanzees put down after Bright Eyes' rampage. Robert Franklin, the chimp handler responsible for carrying out this order, could not bring himself to kill the chimpanzee baby, and instead gave it to Will, who raised him in his house and named him 'Caesar', as his father had been quoting from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" on the day Will brought the chimp home.
Young Caesar shared the same white shooting star birthmark his father Alpha had, and was incredibly intelligent for an ape, and over time he continued to mutate and evolve. He had inherited the effects of ALZ-112 in utero from his mother, as indicated by his eyes changing to a green colour, and thus learned at a fast rate. Caesar was able to learn sign language with the help of Will and a primatologist named Caroline Aranha. When Caesar was young, he wanted to join the human children in riding a bicycle he saw out a window. When Caesar tried to steal a bicycle in his neighbour's garage, Alice Hunsiker alerted her father, who tried to beat Caesar with a bat until Will and Charles arrived to defend him. When Caesar was three years old, Will also gave a sample of ALZ-112 to his father. At first his father improved but five years later, his body's immune system developed antibodies that fought off the virus and his dementia returned. In his state of dementia, Charles got into Hunsiker's car and turned it on, the key carelessly left in the ignition. He pressed the gas and hit the cars in front of him and behind him, getting the attention of Hunsiker, who threatened and pushed Charles. Caesar was also alerted to the situation and jumped out of a window, attacking and biting the neighbor's finger in Charles's defense. After the incident, Caesar was ordered by the courts to leave Will's house and to be sent to the San Bruno Primate Shelter run by John Landon, where the apes were held in cages with the exception of intermissions where they were released into a jungle-themed play area. The apes inside the facility were treated cruelly by Landon's son, Dodge, who worked as a guard there.
At the primate facility, Caesar started out being treated poorly by both the staff and by most of his ape companions. In the exercise area, he was beaten down by the dominant chimp, Rocket. Caesar also formed a friendship with Maurice, a former circus orangutan who had learned sign language as well. Later, Dodge brought his friends into the facility, who teased the apes. Without caution his male friend moved too close to Caesar's cage and was grabbed by Caesar, having his pocket knife unknowingly stolen. Caesar tied the pocket knife to a stick and used it to unlock the door and free himself. The first thing he did while free was break Buck out. After a small celebration of freedom, Buck showed his respect for Caesar. Caesar, with Buck at his side, lured Rocket into the exercise area where he hit Rocket over the head with a metal gasoline canister (one of the toys given to the apes) but did no more harm, establishing his dominance over the ape and proving he was the leader. During this encounter, Caesar gained the respect and companionship of Rocket.
Caesar eventually decided to escape from the primate facility as a whole and traveled to Will's house, where he stole some canisters of an air-borne strain of 'ALZ-113' and returned to the facility, releasing it throughout the cage area and enhancing the intelligence and mental capabilities of himself and his fellow apes. He beat his sadistic caretaker, Dodge, when he noticed Caesar in the play area when he was not supposed to be. Caesar showed his first capability of speech by shouting "NO!" at Dodge, leaving him, Rodney and Buck shocked, after which Caesar incapacitated Dodge and released his fellow apes from their cells. Later, an awoken Dodge confronted Caesar. While Dodge was trying to get the water hose, Caesar pulled it back, making Dodge grab his electric cattle prod and run at Caesar, who killed Dodge by spraying him with the hose while his electric cattle prod was in his hand, electrocuting him. The apes began to beat the other surviving night watchman, Rodney, but Caesar stopped them because he had been kind to the apes, and instead locked him in a cage. The apes at the facility then escaped into the city by opening the windows above the play area and climbing through them. Caesar led them to the Gen-Sys lab, as he knew some of the shelter apes - such as Cornelia and Lucky - had been taken there for experimentation. He released all of the apes there and at the San Francisco Zoo. Caesar successfully led an escape of hundreds of apes through the streets of San Francisco.
The apes battled multiple police blockades of the Golden Gate Bridge, rushing to freedom. Caesar launched a three pronged attack with the orangutans and some of the chimps led by Maurice attacking from the bottom supports, most of the chimps guided by Koba attacking from the high-wire supports, and the gorillas and several other chimps headed by Caesar, Buck, and Rocket leading the charge straight down the bridge. When the police shot one of the chimpanzees, it slipped and fell to it's death, causing an angered Maurice to lead the orangutans back to the center of the bridge. After a long battle, they finally defeated the police. However, Jacobs and a few officers arrived in a helicopter and began gunning down a large group of the apes. Buck leapt off the bridge towards the helicopter (while being shot multiple times) and landed inside. He caused the helicopter to crash onto the bridge, killing all people inside except Jacobs. Caesar rushed to a fatally wounded Buck and tried his best to help him survive, but failed in doing so. Buck then died, severely angering Caesar and the rest of the apes. Caesar walked over to the helicopter and saw a bloodied Jacobs inside. Jacobs begged Caesar to help him out, but Caesar walked away and gave Koba permission to kill Jacobs. Koba put his foot on the helicopter, causing it to tip over the edge of the bridge, presumably killing Jacobs.
Caesar then led all of the apes to freedom in the Redwood Forest. Will followed them and arrived at the forest where he was attacked by Koba, who prepared to kill him. However, Caesar stopped the angry chimp before he could do any harm, and threw Koba onto the ground. Angry, he ran off into the woods. Caesar helped Will up, then Will begged Caesar to come home with him and warned Caesar that he knew what humans are capable of. He guaranteed Caesar that he would be protected if he just came back home. Caesar hugged Will, and now being capable of basic human speech, informed him "Caesar is home". He assured Will that he would be safe from the masses of apes, and would be protected. Caesar then walked up to a tree, looking at his fellow apes and Will. He asked Will if he had permission to climb the tree, and Will accepted. Caesar then rushed up the tree with Maurice and Rocket. The trio then looked out upon the destruction they had caused in San Francisco, wondering what would become of them and the humans as the ALZ-113 pandemic struck mankind.
- Caesar was named by Charles Rodman, who was mumbling quotes from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar on the day Will brought the chimp home.
- An earlier version of the script notes Bright Eyes' treatment at Gen-Sys beginning on "Tuesday, March 10, 2011", with Caesar's birth following six week later (approx. 21 April, 2011). Seven years (according to that script) spent at Rodman's house would place the ape rebellion around 2018. Whether this is the correct year or not is unknown. It has been said that an August 2016 calendar was put on the set of the kitchen at Rodman's house. The film itself spans eight years, as evidenced by the captions "Three Years Later" and "Five Years Later".
- The early script differs in that Rocket's eyes begin to go green (a sign of intelligence) after having bitten Caesar during their initial confrontation. After Caesar and Rocket together escape the primate facility and visit both Will's house and the lab, they use stolen scissors to share their blood with the other apes at the facility and pass on their viral intelligence. Caesar also has a relationship with Cornelia, a female chimp at the facility. The apes go to Gen-Sys lab and then to the San Francisco Zoo to free the apes Caesar has encountered over the years. At the end, Will takes a bullet intended for Caesar, and dies in his arms.
- A deleted scene included in the DVD release had Caesar using his hands to push the helicopter off into the water with Jacobs inside. This would be changed to Koba using his feet to do so.
- Most of Caesar's diolague is either vocalizations, sign language, and the word "NO". To create Caesar's voice, sound designers Chuck Michael and John Larsen recorded hundreds of chimp sounds at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana and mixed them with some of the audio Andy Serkis provided on set. The duo also aged Caesar’s voice from that of an infant to a full-grown chimp.
- It could be possible that Caesar would be more intelligent due to the fact he has been exposed to the ALZ-113, also that a close-up on Caesar's plotting scene and showed that his eyes were more green than before.
- Caesar is a similar character to Taylor in the original films, because of his situation and because the birthmark on his shoulder may be inspired by the burns Taylor got on his shoulder after fighting another human.
- Similar to Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar was named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. Unlike Julius Caesar, he stands for leadership through kindness while Julius Caesar was considered an empire dictator.
- The screenwriters believed that apes sexually mature at 8 years old and that Caesar could thus potentially attack Hunsiker at that age. Although chimps can become unpredictable at age 8, they don't become adults until at or past the age of 13.
- Andy Serkis has confirmed a sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which he will reprise his role as Caesar.
- Caesar was actually to be played by three people, Andy Serkis mostly played him from infacy to adulthood, Devyn Dalton played him in some scenes when he was a toddler, and Terry Notary played Caesar in the Golden Gate Bridge battle scene.