Would Adding ‘Apes’ Character Koba Make Other Movies Better? Social Media Seems to Think So SuperNayr

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to see Koba from the “Planet of the Apes” reboot film series in other movies? Neither had we here at IndieWire. That was until last week when @jbromovies posted this tweet to X, formerly known as Twitter.

Little did @jbromovies know what they were in for as what followed was an avalanche of photoshopped masterpieces that embed “Apes” character Koba into every piece of cinema imaginable. From “Challengers” to “The Lion King,” there are literally too many gems to choose from, but IndieWire has put together a collection of the eight best, each featuring a possible arc for how Koba could be inserted into the plot of the film.

mother of the bride
John Leguizamo

“12 Angry Men” (1957)

With the help of previously-used “Planet of the Apes” plot devices, we find out Koba survived the fall at the end of “Dawn” and has somehow time-traveled back to 1957, when “12 Angry Men” takes place. The all-white male jury is up in arms over #8 pulling the identical knife when all of a sudden, Koba bursts through the window with an assault rifle and massacres them all. He proceeds to rampage through the courthouse until reaching the jail cell of the young man on trial for killing his father. Koba points his weapon at the kid and asks if he really did it. The kid admits to it. He really killed his father. Koba was hoping he’d say this. He opens the cell and offers the kid a place amongst his clan. Caesar’s vision is realized: Humans and apes working in harmony.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (1975)

Koba shows up as one of Jeanne Dielman’s clients. We don’t see the scene in which it takes place, but Koba backs out of sleeping with Jeanne at the last second. All we see is him leaving her apartment in embarrassment. As she goes about her usual schedule, it’s clear his presence and the experience won’t leave her mind. Koba comes back another night with groceries. He makes her dinner. He asks her about her day. They eat, then sit in silence for a while. Koba cleans up, then leaves. Jeanne smiles. Cut to black. 

“Heat” (1995)

The first half of the film plays exactly the same, but during the downtown Los Angeles shootout, Koba shows up and ends up killing a bunch of cops, as well as some of McCauley’s crew, then takes off with the cash. What does an ape need with cash? Not important. What is important is that McCauley and Hanna are pissed. They want to take this ape maniac off the streets. Maybe part of them also want a little revenge. Putting aside their roles as cop and criminal, they join forces to take down a true predator.

“Silence” (2016)

Two priests are sent to Japan in the 17th century in search of their mentor, but instead find an expanded perspective on faith. They encounter many suffering Japanese Christians in desperate need of their spiritual guidance, but none more so than ape Koba. Again, using the plot device of time travel, he claims to the priests that he’s been sent back from the future and finds himself in a time and place he does not understand. They obviously think him mad and try to convince him to follow in the path of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ, but Koba realizes he’ll have better odds joining up with the shogunate. He ends up being charged with hunting down the priests, driving them into a feral madness that makes them wonder whether they are man or beast. Koba lets one of them live and the priest spends the rest of his life secretly believing Koba is a deity. 

“Paddington 2” (2017)

After having been falsely accused and sent to prison, Paddington seems to have made the best of a bad situation and turned his surroundings into a much kinder, supportive place. Unfortunately, that’s when new prisoner Koba shows up and throws a wrench into things. Literally. Like he beats a guard to death with a wrench. After some time in solitary, Koba still finds himself isolated despite his return to general population. This only feeds into his aggression that much more, so Paddington decides to extend a caring hand. What follows is a bit of a reinterpretation of “My Fair Lady” or “Pygmalian,” with Paddington helping to socialize Koba to the point where he soon becomes beloved amongst the prisoners. Using this newfound power, Koba organizes the inmates in a violent prison break. Paddington is forced to cut a guard’s throat, but does make it out alive.

“The Lighthouse” (2019)

Lighthouse keepers Winslow and Wake are in the midst of a drunken feud, when finally, the lighthouse tender arrives to pick them up and deploy their replacement. Much to their surprise, that replacement appears to be an ape. Introducing himself as Koba and smoking a corn-cob pipe, Winslow and Wake are unsure whether or not to give up their post to this non-human. Before they can decide, the tender ship sails away, leaving Koba behind to join them. The three get drunk. Winslow reveals he’s not really who he says he is. Koba reveals that he tried to kill his best friend and take his place as leader. Wake gets nude and starts acting like an ape. Koba’s hair starts to fall off, while Winslow’s grows longer and longer all over his body. Eventually we can’t tell who’s human and who’s ape, then the light in the lighthouse consumes them all.

“CODA” (2021)

You think it’s tough being the child of non-hearing parents? Try being a scientifically-abused ape! “KOBA” — a lighthearted sequel to 2021’s Academy Award-winning crowd-pleaser “CODA” — follows main character Ruby as she pursues her collegiate dreams and encounters a tortured drummer named Koba. He’s Ruby’s dream guy (ape), the only problems are that he can’t speak in full sentences and struggles to control his emotions. After he rips off the face of one of their teachers, Ruby decides to take him home to Gloucester to cool down. There, Koba experiences the love of a family he never had. He gives up music and becomes a fisherman. The film ends with him being lost at sea and Ruby singing “Orinoco Flow” by Enya.

“Past Lives” (2023)

Koba has spent many moons and suns reflecting on the one that got away. He and Na Young (now Nora) met in South Korea in 2000 (again because of time travel), but quickly drifted apart as a result of her and her family moving to North America. Without her presence, he grows into a violent, criminal ape, but when they reconnect over Facebook years later, he sees a chance at a fresh start. Unfortunately, the technological separation and physical distance is too much for Nora and she cuts off communication. When Koba finds out that Nora has gotten married to a writer named Arthur, he vows to not rest until Arthur is slaughtered and Nora is his. However, upon traveling to New York and surprising Nora, Koba comes to realize they’ve grown into different people and that whatever chance they had with one another remains in the past. He gets drinks with her and Arthur, then, while Nora’s in the bathroom, rips Arthur’s face off.

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