"What its over?… I was just getting ready to make my move."

Limbo is an Bornean Orangutan supporting false antagonist turned protagonist in the 2001 Planet of the Apes movie.


Limbo was an orangutan trader of human slaves who was placed in charge of Leo, Daena, Karubi and the other captives. Limbo was cheap and shrewd in business practices. When negotiating the price for a newly captured group of humans, he joked of the humans having lice. Limbo figured he would have to make his money on volume selling with such poor specimens. As a creature of wit, Limbo created a variety of interesting one liners for the movie. When new humans arrived at his training compound he instructed his gorilla guards to "Get them out and get them clean". If only his assistant would remember to wear his gloves while dealing with humans, sanitation conditions would be better. Limbo gave a human child to General Thade as a gift for Thade's Niece. Such a kickback to someone in power was a cost of doing business to Limbo. Later he tried to recapture the escaped slaves but was taken prisoner by them and forced to accompany them to the wreck of the Oberon. Limbo learned what it was like to be a slave and to be human. By the movie's end Limbo pondered a future world of trade with humans as he was not a principled ape, and while he was happy with the old order, he would adapt to any situation where he could make money.



  • Limbo "was supposed to turn into a good guy. There was supposed to be this touching personal growth thing at the end," Paul Giamatti reflected. "But Tim and I both thought that was kind of lame so we decided to just leave him as a jerk into the end."[1]
  • The character of Limbo did not appear in early versions of the story, but may have evolved from a character named 'Zervan'. In the first treatment of William Broyles' story, Zervan is an ape living on a space-ship orbiting the planet Ashlar. He takes pity on the captured astronaut Leo Davidson and helps him escape to the planet surface.[2] In the first draft of the script, Zervan is the jester/fool in the imperial court of Derkein. He falls out of favour with the new Emperor Thade and is thrown into jail. Escaping with Leo and Baldar, like Limbo, he makes an unwelcome and untrustworthy ally on the journey to freedom. He eventually betrays the fugitives to Thade, but subsequently regrets his decision and saves Leo's life.[3]


  1. Steven Horn interview with Paul Giamatti
  2. Annals of the Planet Ashlar Treatment, by William Broyles Jr. (4 August 1999)
  3. The Visitor First Draft Script, by William Broyles Jr. (24 September 1999)
Planet of the Apes - The Chronicle of Ashlar
Planet of the Apes TB
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Main Characters
Leo Davidson | Ari | Thade | Attar | Krull | Limbo | Daena
Supporting Characters
Grace Alexander | Aspasia | Bon | Leeta | | Thade's Niece | Tuug | Karl Vasich | Woman in Cart | Zaius | Sandar | Nado | Nova | Pericles | Semos | Birn | Gunnar | Karubi | Tival
Ashlar | Calima | Oberon | Derkein
Comics, Novels & Magazines
The Human War | Planet Of The Apes (2001) Graphic Novel | Planet of the Apes (2001) (Junior Novelisation) | Planet of the Apes (2001) Concept Art & Costume Tests
Soundtrack Music
Planet of the Apes (2001 Soundtrack Album)
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