“It was some kind of miracle”: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Might Not Have Worked if Director Wes Ball Hadn’t Found Andy Serkis’ Spiritual Successor

Owen Teague was up to the challenge.

Andy Serkis and Kingdom of the Planet of Apes


  • The impact that Andy Serkis had with his Planet of the Apes series was truly iconic.
  • So much so, that when casting for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was happening, casting Noa was very difficult.
  • Wes Ball felt like they might not find anyone, until Owen Teague showed up.
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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has been getting a lot of attention since the release of its trailer. Not only is the film bringing back one of the most iconic science-fiction series of all time, but it is doing it with a fresh approach. There is one star at the forefront of the media spotlight with the film’s release; Owen Teague.

Owen Teague plays the role of Noa in Kingdom of the planet of the apes
Owen Teague in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes as Noa

Taking over the role that Andy Serkis had in the series, with Noa becoming the new Caesar, the actor had some very big shoes to fill. While the role had to have been extremely difficult, there is no doubt that Teague has done an excellent job at it. Wes Ball recently gave an interview where he talked about the casting of the character. It would seem that finding the right Noa was particularly difficult.

Andy Serkis’ Shoes Were Difficult To Fill

Wes Ball, the director of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, gave an interview with Variety, where he specifically talked about filling in the shoes of the protagonist of the film. For three films, the main ape character was played by Andy Serkis. He set up a legacy of sorts, with fans absolutely adoring where he took the story as Caesar.


“We had a lot of pressure on us to find the person who can carry this trilogy.” 

Planet of the apes
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Since the recently released film is set in a time long after the events of the War of the Planet of the Apesthere needed to be a new protagonist, and that came in the form of Noa. Ball mentioned that the casting process for this character was quite difficult, as they were finding it difficult to match the spirit Serkis brought to the story.

Owen Teague Became a Ray of Hope for the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Wes Ball then went on to talk about the traits they were looking for when casting Noa for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. The film followed the ape as he was forced to rethink and question everything he had ever learned. He would make decisions that would have an impact similar to Caesar’s.

A still from the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
A still from the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

With these goals in mind, they wanted someone who could sell the innocent and naive personality without coming off as weak. Since Noa needed to make a lot of tough decisions, they needed someone strong.


“We needed someone who is kind of innocent and naive but can also be tough. It was some kind of miracle that we met Owen.”

kingdom of the planet of the apes-2
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

It would seem that the casting of such a personality was becoming quite tedious for Ball. That was until he met Owen Teague. On top of his impressive resume, having starred in films like IT, The Stand, and You Hurt My Feelings, the actor perfectly embodied the traits the director was looking for.

So much so that he mentioned that finding Teague was a miracle for the project, not knowing what they would have done had they not found him.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is running in theaters. 


Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1115

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.