WATCH: Why everyone will go bananas over Bad Ape in War For the Planet of the Apes

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Jul 3, 2017, 5:45 PM EDT

When the subject of your movie is about a battle for supremacy and survival between two warring species, comedy isn't going to be a big part of the proceedings.

And make no mistake, War for the Planet of the Apes is deadly serious (and awesome, as we've pointed out in previous posts). However, director Matt Reeves manages to sneak a few moments of levity into the mix through a scene-stealing new character known as Bad Ape. Introduced early on in a thrilling and unexpected sequence, Bad Ape is a neurotic ape who lived in a Nevada zoo when the Simian Flu spread. Once the war broke out, he found himself living alone at an old ski resort.

Steve Zahn is the man behind Bad Ape, and while he's undeniably funny and guaranteed to be a fan favorite once the movie opens, he's not there strictly for laughs. When SYFY WIRE spoke with Zahn and Reeves, they both talked about Bad Ape being a tragic figure in many ways ... and that many of his funny lines come from the fact that he's never been around other apes like him. As Reeves put it, the humor is earned.

(But c'mon, that Funko POP! figure with Bad Ape in the ski vest is beyond adorable!)

Watch below. War for the Planet of the Apes opens on July 14.