Since Disney acquired Fox earlier this year for a whopping $71.3 billion, the House of Mouse now owns many other established franchises under its umbrella. Among them is the Planet of the Apes film series which has produced nine installments in the past 51 years. Following the wrapping of the recent trilogy centering on Andy Serkis’ Caesar, it looks like the studio now has another Planet of the Apes movie in the works.
Maze Runner director Wes Ball has been reportedly hired to helm an upcoming Planet of the Apes movie for Fox, per THR. But wait… is this a sequel to 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes or a reboot for the entire property? It would be one of the first moves from Fox with an established franchise since the studio officially became part of Disney in March.
After Wes Ball directed the entire apocalypse trilogy for Maze Runner, he signed on to Mouse Guard for Fox. But soon after the Disney/Fox deal went through, the big-budget adaptation became the first casualty of the merger. Mouse Guard was cancelled by Disney just a couple weeks before the movie was set to begin production. Now we've learned Ball reportedly has moved on with Planet of the Apes.
Interestingly enough, the writer/director of the last two Planet of the Apes films, Matt Reeves, was a producer on Wes Ball’s Mouse Guard before plans fell apart. If the filmmaker has a hand in this new Planet of the Apes movie, perhaps it will somehow pick up where he left off with War for the Planet of the Apes?
After concluding his work on the film series, Matt Reeves has since moved on to The Batman, which will star Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and John Turturro as Carmine Falcone. The Batman will also mark a continued collaboration between Reeves and Andy Serkis, who will portray Alfred Pennyworth in the upcoming film.
The Batman may mark the beginning of new series under Matt Reeves creative control and for Andy Serkis to dig his acting talents into. So this new Planet of the Apes movie may not be directly connected to the recent trilogy. Considering the 2017 Apes film concluded Caesar’s story and ended with his death, the franchise going for a fresh perspective may be the best step forward as well.
The last iteration of the Planet of the Apes certainly took careful care in crafting an intriguing mythology for its world. Would the franchise completely wipe the slate clean? There’s certainly room for another movie to remake the original 1968 story now that audiences have deep context about how it began. Or it go further into the future as the ape society advances.
What do you think? How would you like to see the Planet of the Apes continue on the big screen in a future movie? Sound off in the poll and comments, and check out the five franchises Disney should focus on instead of Star Wars following the Fox merger!