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Wes Ball Teases ‘Exciting’ Continuation for Next Planet of the Apes Film

Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Wes Ball

Wes Ball, director of the forthcoming Planet of the Apes movie, has talked up some of the film’s “exciting” qualities in a recent interview. Speaking with Discussing Film, the Maze Runner director shared how work on the film is progressing, as well as what fans can expect from the continuation of the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.

Though the last three movies in the franchise were previously under the guidance of 20th Century Fox, a lot of the same crew will carry on to work on the new movie with Disney. Considering Ball’s Disney chapter in the franchise will take place in the same universe as the last three Planet of the Apes movies, he explained that fans should still be able to find something to love in his film despite its not being, as he puts it, a “part four”:

We have a take. We have a way of staying in the universe that was created before us, but we’re also opening ourselves up in being able to do some really cool new stuff. Again, I’m trying to be careful here. I’ll say this, for fans of the original three don’t worry – you’re in good hands. The original writers and producers that came up with Rise and Dawn, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, they’re also on board with this. Josh Friedman is writing this thing, a lot of the same crew is kind of involved. We will feel like we’re part of that original trilogy, but at the same time we’re able to do some really cool new stuff. It will be really exciting to see on the biggest screen possible.

Ball himself is a fan of the 20th Century Fox trilogy, with the director going as far as to say Caesar, the lead character in the three films, is “one of the great movie characters that we’ll have throughout time.”

The coronavirus pandemic has left production schedules for many movies up in the air, and Disney’s Planet of the Apes film is no exception. However, Ball says that the team on this movie is in a “unique” situation, considering many meetings were already taking place virtually before the effects of the pandemic were fully realized. With the movie still in its early stages, things are still advancing, for now: “Well, Planet of the Apes is moving forward and we have a giant art team cranking away on some incredible concept art. We’ve got the screenplay continuing to move forward(;) that will take the time that it takes and so that’s all good. Planet of the Apes is moving forward baby! Not only that, but we could actually be in virtual production relatively soon because it’s largely a CG movie.”

The 20th Century Fox trilogy — Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes — told the story of an ape named Caesar’s rise to power. We don’t know anything about the next branch in the Planet of the Apes universe other than Ball plans to take things in a slightly new direction.

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Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.