You worry about the humans.
— Cornelia senses Caesar's concern.

Cornelia was an evolved chimpanzee, the wife of Caesar and queen of the ape colony. She was a fellow inmate of Rocket, Maurice and Buck at the San Bruno Primate Shelter. She met Caesar during his stay at the shelter and formed a romantic bond with him. After Caesar's rise to power, she became his wife and bore him two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. Because she was the queen of the ape colony, she was the matriarch of the Royal Ape Family. When humans are rediscovered, Cornelia becomes the ape counterpart of Ellie.


Early lifeEdit

Cornelia was born in the wild before being captured and taken to the San Bruno Primate Shelter.

Rise of the Planet of the ApesEdit

Life in captivityEdit

Cornelia was one of the apes being held at the San Bruno Primate Shelter along with Maurice, Rocket, Buck and Caesar. She is first seen when Dodge Landon gave his friends a tour of the facility, one of his female friends commented that Cornelia was cute and mistook her as male. Dodge corrected her saying she was female and that her name was Cornelia.


Later, Cornelia was tranquilized and is shipped to Gen-Sys Laboratories to be used as a test subject, only to be freed later when Caesar and the other apes raided the place while freeing all of the other captured apes in the process.


Though not shown on screen, Cornelia took part in the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and was probably in the forest when Caesar said his final farewell to Will.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: FirestormEdit

Surviving in the Harsh WoodsEdit

Cornelia was seen treating the injured apes after the battle on the Golden Gate Bridge and was seen to be uninjured in the fight. Upon seeing Caesar she went to him, lowering her head and extending her hand somewhat reluctantly. Caesar ordered her to follow Maurice to safety. Agitated and defiant, she told him that when the injured apes moved they hurt more and that they required rest. Caesar shook his head, telling her that if they stayed put they'd be slaughtered. Cornelia attempted to stand her ground but Caesar threatened her prompting her to stand down to help the injured to their feet.

Later as the apes were getting hungry, Cornelia revealed to Caesar and Maurice that she was born in the wild and that the food in the forest is very different to that in the jungle in which she grew up. Caesar dismissed her comments despite Maurice attempting to talk him around. Caesar admitted, however, that he admired Cornelia for her willingness to help.

Bonding with CaesarEdit

Later, she found Caesar sitting alone in a tree. They talked as Cornelia groomed and she praised him for his efforts to keep the apes safe. Caesar who was expecting her to complain about something he was doing wrong, was surprised at her praise.

When the humans attacked the forest with fire, Cornelia was almost killed. Caesar pushed her into the river until the humans and the fire were gone. Later, Cornelia found Caesar sitting in a tree again and groomed him as they watched the lights in the city go out.

Dawn of the Planet of the ApesEdit

A decade laterEdit

After ten years of living in the Muir Woods Park, Cornelia has happily married Caesar becoming queen of the now growing Ape Colony and it is through her love and support that he is able to lead the other apes. In the time before the Ape Village's creation she and Caesar were given a young son Blue Eyes (named for his blue iris') who became the prince and couple's treasured heir. Sometime later she and Caesar learned that, they were expecting another child in the near future.

A Second childEdit

Upon Caesar and Blue Eyes returning to the village after their hunting trip, she has her midwives summoned Caesar before she delivers and with her husband by her side she gives birth to a second son. Caesar sat with her and held her hand as they bonded over their new child when Blue Eyes entered just moments later. After telling their oldest son to come meet his new brother, the three bonded over the new addition to their now expanded family.


Later, as Caesar was settling down for the night, he saw that she didn't appear to be well and asked if she was okay. She replied that she was and that she just needed rest. Her health took a turn for the worse while her family was at the dam with the humans. When they returned, she had one of her midwives summon them and they hurried to her side to see that she hadn't got long to live. A moment later, Malcolm and Ellie entered to apologize for Carver's earlier behavior and saw what was going on. They pleaded to Caesar to allow Ellie to help but Caesar, forever stubborn, reflected on what happened at the dam, telling them he didn't trust them. The humans continued to plead with him, prompting Caesar to turn to his sick wife. He dismissed Malcolm but allowed Ellie to stay telling her that one day, they would live together in peace. Ellie then proceeded to heal her.

Koba's usurpationEdit

A few days later, when the power to the city had been restored, Cornelia, now well enough, joined the celebrations with the humans, much to the astonishment of Blue Eyes who was the first to embrace her. She then embraced Caesar but moments later, Caesar was shot by a hidden Koba. Cornelia cried out as her husband fell off the ledge, presumably to his death. Blue Eyes held her as she grieved. She was then sent with the other females and young to the forest by Koba who, unknowingly to everyone else, had shot Caesar and framed the humans for the crime.

On the way to the Rodman House, Caesar asked Ellie about the safety of his family, and she told him she didn't know. A few hours later, Malcolm returned to the house with medical supplies and Blue Eyes, who he had found in the apartment. A recovering Caesar asked his son about his mother and brother, and Blue Eyes told him that they were safe for the time being.

Reunion with her familyEdit

A few days later, Blue Eyes returned to his father having rescued Maurice, Rocket, Luca and others from Koba and told his father that Koba was going to move the females and young from their safe haven in the woods. Caesar, sensing that his wife and youngest son were now in danger, told Blue Eyes and the others that they had to act now if they wanted Cornelia safe.

After Koba's defeat and death, Cornelia and the baby were reunited with Caesar and Blue Eyes, relieved to see that they were alive and safe. She then stands with her family as the other apes bow down to Caesar awaiting his guidance for the fighting to come.

War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit

In Revelations, Cornelia is seen protecting her youngest son, Cornelius during the early stages of the human/ape conflict. After a missile shot by the humans destroys a nearby building, Caesar orders Cornelia and the other female apes to find shelter within the forest. Later, turncoat apes attempt to separate Cornelia from the rest of the females as she is their leader and they plan to overthrow Caesar. She outsmarts them and gets away. She meets up with Tinker and a few other apes later and they talk about their time in the primate shelter and their future before Cornelia returns to the group, where she defiantly refuses to go along with Grey as she is assisting another young ape during birth. After a small fight, Ceder, the wife of Grey asks Cornelia for forgiveness after taking her crown and declaring herself queen. More to come...

War for the Planet of the ApesEdit

Cornelia is showing hugging Blue Eyes when he returns from his long journey and is at Caesar's side during the Ape Council meeting.

When Colonel McCullough infiltrates Caesar's home, he mistakes Blue Eyes for Caesar then kills Blue Eyes and Cornelia.

More to come...


Cornelia and her son Blue Eyes' death caused her husband, Caesar to go out and hunt for their killer, Colonel McCullough. Caesar later mentioned their deaths to Winter to show him the consequences of his betrayal before he unintentionally killed him.

Cornelia will be remembered for her caring nature and for being the wife of Caesar and mother of the future ape king, Cornelius.

It can be assumed that Maurice, Lake and Rocket would share stories of Cornelia's life with Cornelius so that the young prince doesn't forget his mother.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: FirestormEdit

When she was younger, Cornelia was known to be stubborn, defiant and often rebellious especially when it came to Caesar giving her orders, though this did not stop her from being kind to others and helping out whenever she could and attempting to stand up to her husband. Others, such as Maurice valued her input and knowledge of the wild and upon learning that the forest was very different to that of the jungle in which she grew up.

Dawn of the Planet of the ApesEdit

Cornelia had a child-like quality to her that was greatly respected. She was kind and was willing to help those who need it, whether it be ape or human. Her kind and loving personality makes her the ideal mother to her two young sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius and is an equally loving and supportive wife and partner to Caesar. Seeing what her husband must endure on a daily basis as the leader of the ape colony, Cornelia serves as a calming presence to keep him grounded.

Cornelia was Caesar's loving wife and the mother of his children - but also the matriarch of his tribe. She selflessly provides comfort and support that help him lead. She can be stubborn and defiant, but ultimately Caesar admires her common sense and compassion". "Cornelia was the nurturer of the tribe, highly empathetic, she puts the health and safety of others above her own. Although peaceful by nature, she has a fierce inner-strength that fosters her community".

War for the Planet of the Apes: RevelationsEdit

Cornelia was shown as loving and fiercely protective, she embraces Caesar strongly after he think he almost loses her, and protects her young son with her life. She was also shown outsmarting apes that are trying to capture her. She attends the birth of another young ape, Rain, and gently forgives another, Cedar for attempting to defy her.

War for the Planet of the ApesEdit

More to come...


  • High-Level Intellect: While at the Gen-Sys Laboratories Cornelia was experimented on, becoming exposed to the ALZ-113. She has green irises, a trait that is later passed on to her and Caesar's two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. It is unknown how much her advanced intelligence and IQ has increased. She does appear to be a quick learner as seen in the Dawn prequel novel, Firestorm. Cornelia's advanced intelligence and IQ was later passed on to her two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius.
  • Sign Language: Like her fellow apes, Cornelia knows American Sign Language. Cornelia uses it as a way of communication. She was one of the few apes after the Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge to display this ability after having watched Caesar, Maurice and Rocket communicate with it.
  • Expert Healer/Medic: According to the Dawn prequel novel, Firestorm, Cornelia appears to be a gifted healer as Caesar finds her tending to the wounds of many of the apes who were injured during the fight on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Speech: Having inhaled the ALZ-113, Cornelia had gained the ability of speech. This ability was later passed on to her two sons, Blue Eyes and Cornelius. She did not have any verbal lines of dialogue in Dawn and War respectively, so it was unknown how good her english was.




  • In the final version of Rise, Cornelia and Caesar have no direct contact or interaction. There is a scene however when Caesar is talking with Maurice where Cornelia holds up the plastic bottle that she is playing with, the shot then cuts to Caesar and he smiles at her.
  • Judy Greer confirmed in interview that she would be playing the "love interest and companion to Caesar".[1]
  • Greer said that when she was shown concept art of the character she knew she was looking at a lady and that Cornelia appeared to be "so beautiful and regal and very feminine".[2]
  • In an interview with Crave Online, Judy Greer revealed that she wouldn't be involved in any action sequences but she did reveal that Cornelia would have a calming effect on Caesar and pretty much keep him grounded.
  • On his Facebook page, Nick Thurston mentioned that he met Judy Greer during the later stages of filming, and later confirmed that he did share scenes with Judy Greer.
  • Cornelia made an appearance in the footage that was shown at CinemaCon. She was wearing a crown made of flowers. In an interview at the same event, Andy Serkis confirmed that the ape was in fact Cornelia and that the scene was the celebration involving the recent birth of Caesar and Cornelia's second son.
  • In an interview with Hitfix at WonderCon, Andy Serkis referred to Cornelia as the love of Caesar's life.
  • According to Terry Notary in the film's first featurette, Cornelia has a very child-like quality.
  • Cornelia seems to have been redesigned for Dawn. She has a longer nose then she did in Rise and her eyes are smaller than in Rise, perhaps reflecting the change of actress.
  • In War, Cornelia and Blue Eyes are murdered by Colonel McCullough, which acts as a catalyst for Caesar's quest of revenge.




  1. Judy Greer is Playing a Chimp in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’, by Sandy Schaefer - Screen Rant (March 28, 2013)
  2. Judy Greer Talks Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, by James White - Empire online (11 August 2013)
Planet of the Apes - Chernin Entertainment Series
Planet of the Apes (CE) Movies
Rise of the Planet of the Apes | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | War for the Planet of the Apes
Main Evolved Ape Characters
Caesar | Bright Eyes | Koba | Maurice | Rocket | Buck | Cornelia | Blue Eyes | Luca | Ash | Cornelius | Winter | Lake | Bad Ape | Red
Supporting Ape Characters
Alpha | Burke | Verdon | Tinker | Grey | Stone | Andy | Wolfie | Jeanpierre | Lucky | Koba's Mother | Sparrow | Pope | Fifer | Cora | Rex | Bon | Dallas | Milo (Firestorm) | Herman | Spear | Ajax | Oak | Fox | Aghoo | Ursus | Percy | Beardface | Armando
Main Human Characters
Will Rodman | Charles Rodman | Caroline Aranha | Robert Franklin | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | John Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Malcolm | Ellie | Alexander | Dreyfus | Carver | Foster | Colonel McCullough | Nova
Supporting Human Characters
Rodney | John Hamil | Rita | Sarah | Maddy | John | Edward | Roger Mason | Werner | Kemp | Clancy Stoppard | Corbin | Daniel Nygun | David Flynn | Finney | Kuo | Malakai Youmans | Max (Firestorm) | McVeigh | Terry | Roger | Rod Wilson | Preacher | Boyle | Lang | Travis | Tee
Rodman Family | Caesar's Family | Malcolm's Family | Rocket's Family | Dreyfus' Family
Horse | Elk | Grizzly Bear
Items / Weapons
Simian Flu
Important Events / Battles
Ape Rebellion | Human-Ape War | Simian Flu Pandemic | Battle on the Golden Gate Bridge | Battle in San Francisco | Battle of the Muir Woods Park
Organizations / Colonies / Companies
Caesar's Ape Colony | Caesar's Council of Apes | Caesar's Ape Army | Gen-Sys Board | San Francisco's Human Colony | Dreyfus' Human Army | Malcolm's Group | Alpha-Omega | Donkeys
West African Jungle | San Francisco | San Francisco Zoo | Gen-Sys Laboratories | Rodman House | San Bruno Primate Shelter | Golden Gate Bridge | Muir Woods Park | Ape Mountain | Ape Gate | Ape Village | Caesar's Home | Warehouse
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (webcomic) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Contagion | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios) | Before the Dawn | War for the Planet of the Apes (BOOM! Studios)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | War for the Planet of the Apes: Revelations | War for the Planet of the Apes - Official Movie Novelization | Planet of the Apes: Caesar’s Story
Other Books
Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album) | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Soundtrack Album)
Video Games
Plague Inc: Simian Flu | Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier | Crisis on the Planet of the Apes