Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.
~ Cornelius reading from the sacred scrolls of the apes about what Dr. Zaius did.

Dr. Zaius is the main antagonist of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes, the secondary antagonist of its 1970 sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and the overarching character in reality. He is an intelligent evolved orangutan who serves as one of the leaders of the ape-dominated world and the main antagonist of the story. Zaius serves a dual role in Ape society, as Minister of Science in charge of advancing ape knowledge, and also as Chief Defender of the Faith. He believes all humans are an abomination and kept the truth about the origins of their society a secret.

He was portrayed by the late Maurice Evans in the films and currently by Dana Gould in real-life.


Original series

He is the minister of science, and chief defender of Earth, in the ape society. Much like one of his successors, Koba, Dr. Zaius has a hatred for humans, and this hatred causes him to attack humans when they arrive. Zaius and the gorillas expanded their city and they battle the mutants until Taylor sets off the bomb killing him and destroying planet Earth. Unlike Koba, his hatred was not pure evil.

His hatred towards the human race leads to his demise and planet Earth's destruction.

Zaius (Animated)


Doctor Zaius reappeared yet again in the animated series, with no obvious connection to any other version of Zaius.

He served as an authoritative government official who held influence within the Ape Senate and had authority over both Cornelius and Zira, and their scientific enterprises, as well as General Urko and his military. He wanted Bill Hudson captured but also distrusted Urko's ambitions.

Zaius (TB)

Zaius 4
Damn them... damn them. Damn them all... to Hell!
~ Zaius speaks his last words as he is blown up.

Zaius was the aging father of ape military commander, General Thade. An important leader of Derkein, possibly a senator, he was also a direct descendant of Semos, founder of the ape society and regarded as god of the apes. Of all the apes in the community, he was the only one who knew the truth concerning the Forbidden Area known as Calima. Zaius despised humans and blamed them for the downfall of society. As a reminder of humanity’s destructive nature, he kept one of their weapons – a handgun – inside an ancestral urn held within his household. He knew the trouble that Leo's arrival could bring. On his deathbed, Zaius consulted with Thade and revealed some of the hidden truths in regard to humanity having once been dominant on the planet. And as further proof, he asked his son to break the ancient urn, revealing the human weapon he had kept all those years and claiming it as proof of humanity's potential to overtake the apes with their capacity to innovate. Condemning all human beings "to Hell", Zaius passed away, leaving the handgun to Thade.

Zaius (TV Series)

Zaius TV 01
Zaius was the highest-ranking member of the High Council of Central City in the year 3085. Obviously based on the character from the movies, he filled the same function as his namesake. In fact, he was quite possibly an ancestor of Dr. Zaius in the movies.

He served as a government official, with authority over all the humans in his district. He knew of the potential of humans and would stop at nothing to maintain the status quo. The young chimpanzee Galen became his new assistant, but became a fugitive with two human astronauts, fleeing from Zaius and his enforcer, General Urko, who wished to question the astronauts in order to prevent more following them.

Zaius (UbiSoft)

Zaius (UbiSoft)
Professor Zaius' story was told in the Apes Game For PC. His first appearance in the game can be viewed here. Upon escaping from his cell in the Ape laboratories, Ulysses crawled through the air ducts to where he saw Zaius talking to Doctor Zira. He was against the special treatment favored by Zira towards Ulysses, who she saw as a very unusual human. Reminding her of his authority, Zaius told her that Ulysses will be transferred to the mandrill militia. Ulysses encountered Zaius again when he entered the Ape High Council chamber, where Zaius was chairing the Council. On reading the evidence Ulysses had gathered about Ursus' secret plot, Zaius ordered the arrest of Ursus and, despite the protests of the other Council members, offered Ulysses the chance to go free if he never returned to the Ape City. Ulysses agreed and Zaius then explained that his apparent gratitude was in truth a calculated plan to portray Ulysses as a selfish coward rather than the heroic leader of the human resistance he had become. Just as Ulysses and Nova made their escape however, Mathias was already assembling a huge human army to attack Ape City.


  • He inspired the villain Dr. Zarius from the Looney Tunes webtoons.



           PlanetOfTheApesTitle Villains

Main Antagonists
Dr. Zaius | General Ursus | Dr. Otto Hasslein | Governor Breck | General Aldo | General Thade | Steven Jacobs | Koba | Colonel McCullough

Supporting Antagonists
Albina | Governor Kolp | Attar | Mendez I | Dodge Landon | Dreyfus | Red | Preacher | Alpha-Omega

Minor Antagonists
Ongaro | Adiposo | Limbo | Douglas Hunsiker | Carver | Winter

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