Credit Twentieth Century Fox

Left to right: Matt Reeves, Lauren Brent, Zanna Clay, Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn. Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

Ape expert joins War for the Planet of the Apes Q&A

A real-life primate expert joined stars of new film War for the Planet of the Apes for a Q&A with journalists.

Dr Lauren Brent, from the University of Exeter, answered questions alongside director Matt Reeves and actors Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn.

While the director and actors talked about plot and production, Dr Brent was asked about animal behaviour – and how much the on-screen apes behave like the real thing.

“The film-makers focussed their research on how apes move,” said Dr Brent.

“They were also spot-on in many ways with respect to how the behaviours and societies of apes are portrayed.

“This is probably because real-life chimpanzees behave a lot like humans.

“Chimpanzees are territorial, xenophobic and act both aggressively and cooperatively toward others – and we also see these traits in human behaviour.”

Dr Brent was joined by fellow scientist Dr Zanna Clay, from Durham University, on the panel at the Soho Hotel in London last Monday (June 19).

Writing about the event, Dr Brent, of Exeter’s Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, tweeted: “*somebody* has to be a fictional ape expert. Might as well be me.”

The panel event, hosted by Twentieth Century Fox, followed a showing of the first hour of the film.

The movie – the third instalment of the franchise – will be released in UK cinemas on 11 July.

Date: 26 June 2017