Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Production Designer Details Building "Massive Scale Set"

Production Designer Daniel T. Dorrance details building Proximus Caesar's kingdom.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is now playing in theaters, and the new film is having a successful first week at the box office in addition to getting praise from critics and audiences alike. Directed by Wes Ball, the project is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with an 81% critics score and a 78% audience score. ComicBook's Spencer Perry gave the film a 4 out of 5, and called it "a grand time, and a worthy follow-up." The recent Apes films have become known for their impressive VFX, which was done by the Wētā FX team. Out of the 1,521 shots in the film, only 38 did not feature VFX. However, that doesn't mean there wasn't some great practical work being done behind the scenes. In fact, production designer Daniel T. Dorrance recently spoke with Variety about building a "massive scale set" for the film. 

"I built all the elements they interact with so that they come out of the side of the ship," Dorrance explained of Proximus Caesar's kingdom, revealing the ship was the size of a football field by length and width. "I built 80 feet of the ship with the portal and big ramp coming down, so you could pan around and see the exterior of the bunker. I built the doorway and the concrete elements as you make your way around." 

"It was a massive scale set," he added, revealing it took 20 weeks to build.

"The ship had sharp ends, shards, and rusty metals. You even see it on the rusty metals, the costumes, and the armor. The idea was the apes took the ship apart and are using it for weapons, and built the levee from that metal ... There was nothing soft about it. Wes likes to say, 'This is the Bronze age.'" 

What Is Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes About?

You can read a description of the film here: "Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar's reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike." 

The cast for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is anchored by Owen Teague (IT) as Noa, a young chimpanzee. He's joined in the film by Kevin Duran (Locke & Key) as Proximus Caesar, a powerful chieftain that has appropriated human technology; Travis Jeffery as Anaya; Lydia Peckham as Soona, a female chimpanzee and a friend of Noa. Neil Sandilands as Koro; Peter Macon as Raka; and Freya Allan (The Witcher) as Mae, one of the few human characters to appear in the movie  

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is now playing in theaters.