20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes trilogy redefined the franchise and brought a surprising end to Caesar's story. Now, the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios will pick up where those movies left off with a new ensemble and setting in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
Talking to Empire Online, director Wes Ball was asked just how far into the future this follow-up is taking us. "I wanted to do a big leap forward in time," the filmmaker says without specifying how much time has passed since War for the Planet of the Apes. "It’s significant enough that Caesar is still a spirit in the movie, but most of his living relatives are not in this picture."
"If the last three movies were the Stone Age," he adds, "here we get to see what happens when they enter the Bronze Age."
Elaborating on his approach to the story, Ball suggested the tone will be quite a bit different thanks to a younger lead. Is Planet of the Apes heading down the "YA" route? While the Maze Runner director has experience in that realm, he was quick to assure fans that isn't the case.
"When I first started on it, I said, 'I feel like Apes needs a little bit of Star Wars.' It’s all still very grounded in reality, but it is essentially a quest narrative. Our main character - the young, impressionable Noa [Owen Teague] - meets characters along the way and becomes awakened as he winds up in a place that will test him, and he ultimately becomes his true self."
"We haven’t kiddified it, or Disneyfied it, if I’m allowed to say that! But we have brought a younger spirit to it."
You can check out a new still from Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes below.
"Director Wes Ball (The Maze Runner) breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar's reign," reads the synopsis, "in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows."
"As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike."
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes stars Owen Teague (IT), Freya Allan (The Witcher), Kevin Durand (Locke & Key), Peter Macon (Shameless), and William H. Macy (Fargo).
The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Avatar: The Way of Water) and Patrick Aison (Prey), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Producers include Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr. (The Maze Runner), Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Jason Reed (Mulan), with Peter Chernin (Planet of the Apes) and Jenno Topping (Ford v. Ferrari) serving as executive producers.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, a new entry in 20th Century Studios' global, epic franchise, opens exclusively in theaters on May 24, 2024.