War for the Planet of the Apes star Steve Zahn on bringing a monkey to life

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Dec 20, 2016, 4:17 PM EST

The first trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes established a tense, serious world where the fate of two species hangs in the balance. But don't worry — there will still be a bit of comic relief. 

We caught up with Steve Zahn to talk about the mo-cap character he is playing, Bad Ape, and the wonderful challenge in bringing a CGI character to life in this way. Bad Ape, who seemingly got his name from having it yelled at him by humans while in a zoo, looks to be the first real comic-relief type of character in the franchise. He’ll meet up with Caesar’s gang after trying to steal their supplies, and is one of the rare intelligent apes to have evolved his ability to speak outside of Caesar’s sphere of influence.

Zahn talks about what fans can expect from his character, how he serves as a foil for Caesar, and the heartbreak in humor.

War for the Planet of the Apes opens July 14, 2017.

Check out the interview below and let us know what you think: