Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will continue Hollywood’s most underrated franchise
Sorry, people, but you had your chance.
The current Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the most consistently entertaining and thought-provoking reboots of a blockbuster series in recent memory. Beginning with Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the series took off when The Batman director Matt Reeves took over for 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes with an understated approach to post-apocalyptic action that never lost sight of humanity in its story about a burgeoning ape society.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, billed as “an all-new chapter in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ series,” will begin production next month. According to 20th Century Studios, the tale will start up several years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, but no other plot details have been provided.
Wes Bell will direct Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which will star Owen Teague (It), Freya Allan (The Witcher), and Peter Macon (The Orville) (known for the Maze Runner films but also the unfortunately canned animated adaptation of Mouse Guard). While this may appear to be a change of guard, two of the script’s writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, worked on the first two films and are joined by Josh Friedman and Patrick Aison (the latter of which wrote the excellent Prey).
Unfortunately, no mention is made of the one element that contributed to the success of the new Apes trilogy: Weta Digital’s work bringing the Apes to life, which includes an all-time great performance by Andy Serkis as the ape leader Caesar. That’s not to say the film couldn’t be terrific with a different crew and performer; it’s simply that it has the biggest shoes to fill, the kind of thing that may assist or hamper a film’s storytelling goals.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is scheduled to debut in 2024.