20th Century Fox tentpoles Logan and War for the Planet of the Apes both marked the end of an era for beloved characters.

Deadline

For Logan director James Mangold, the choice to end the stories of the X-Men franchise characters came from an artistic point of view. “We had a goal to make a more humane movie,” said Mangold told Dominic Patten at Deadline’s The Contenders event. “That Charles and Logan die at the end of the movies would be no big deal if it was any other movie. The question is loaded with the potency of ‘what are you doing to the franchise?'” To which he answered: “I don’t give a shit. I wanted to make a great movie.”

Sir Patrick Stewart, who has played Professor Charles Xavier since the franchise launched in 2000, recalled the moment when the end of his character hit him. “Hugh and I saw the movie with a big audience for the first time at the Berlin Film Festival,” he said. “We got into the last five minutes of the movie, and I found myself very emotional. I’ve always known that there was an intensity to the ending but not as strong as I found it sitting in the cinema.” He wasn’t alone. “Hugh was crying too,” Stewart said.

“There can be no better way ever of saying goodbye to this franchise than what I watched,” he added. “It was the perfect au revoir to X-Men.”

Serkis and Reeves

When it came to capping off the Caesar era of the Planet of tne Apes, per star Andy Serkis, it important to show the culmination of the war between humans and apes as well as the war within Caesar himself. “Ceasar up to this point has been trying to be the peace broker within this conflict between the apes and human beings,” Serkis told Deadline’s Joe Utichi. “He had been able to be empathetic to the human cause as well the survival of his own kind. The war for the Planet of the Apes is the war for Caesars internal struggles. … It’s a war for Caesar’s soul.”

Screenwriter Matt Reeves said the end of Caesar doesn’t signal the end of a franchise. “One of the fun things about this reboot is that there are new stories,” he said. “The trajectory is to know we’re going to a Planet of the Apes, the 1968 movie, but these are the stories that haven’t been told. So it’s not about getting to remake that movie, it’s about the journey that takes up from the way that our world looks like right now to the way that that world looks. That becomes this giant Russian ape novel where you go chapter by chapter to the stories that make up this transformation. That gives us an opportunity to tell stories about characters and really who we are.”