The last time the Planet of the Apes franchise got time to shine on the big screen was in 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, which concluded the story of Andy Serkis’ Caesar. While we know another Planet of the Apes movie is on the way, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding this project, including when it will be released. In the meantime though, Planet of the Apes fans are in for a treat, as it’s been announced that new Apes-centric comics stories are coming soon from Marvel Comics.
That’s right, following Marvel’s first run with Planet of the Apes from 1974 to 1977, which delivered comics adaptations of the original Apes movies, the property has returned to the House of Ideas. Starting in early 2023, Marvel will publish all-new Planet of the Apes stories, with Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski saying the following in an official statement:
For now, specific details on Marvel’s upcoming Planet of the Apes titles, collections, reprints and creative teams are being kept secret. However, the company did release a piece of teaser artwork from Salvador Larroca.
There wasn't any mention about if Marvel will solely be publishing Planet of the Apes stories set in the original timeline, or if we could also get titles set in the reboot timeline established by 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Either way, Apes being brought into the Marvel fold isn’t surprising considering it was one of the properties brought under the Disney umbrella following the Mouse House’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. It follows in the footsteps of the Alien and the Predator franchises, with the former having had a regular Marvel title since March 2021, and the latter scoring a comic series that launches in July.
It is worth clarifying that Planet of the Apes fans haven’t been devoid of comic tie-ins since that ‘70s Marvel run. Companies like Malibu Publishing and Dark Horse Comics dabbled in the Apes world over the decades, and prior to this shift back to Marvel, Boom! Studios had held the comics license since 2011. While most of Boom!’s Apes titles were centered on the franchise’s original timeline, the company also churned out a handful of stories set in the reboot timeline. Boom! also teamed with DC Comics and IDW Publishing for the Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern and Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive crossovers, respectively.
As far as the next Planet of the Apes movie goes, The Maze Runner’s Wes Ball will direct and is co-writing the script with Josh Friedman, and rather than reboot the franchise yet again, the upcoming movie will be set in the reboot timeline sometime after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes to follow “Caesar’s legacy.” Ball also said in early 2020 fans of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes won’t need to worry - “you’re in good hands.” Back in March, 20th Century Studios president Steve Asbell said that production would start in either late summer or early fall of 2022, but it’s unclear if that’s still the plan.
CinemaBlend will keep passing along updates on what’s happening with the next Planet of the Apes movies, but those of you interested in Marvel’s upcoming offerings for the franchise, keep an eye out at your local comic book store and digital comics sources come early next year. Keep track of what movies are left to come out this year by looking through our 2022 release schedule.
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