20th Century Fox is moving forward on a new Planet of the Apes movie and has tapped The Maze Runner director Wes Ball to helm it. Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox earlier in the year, it was unclear what the House of Mouse would do with many of the more adult franchises it had inherited including Planet of the Apes. The sci-fi series about simians taking over the world after the downfall of many in the future has long been a championed franchise at Fox so there was never too much of a worry it couldn’t be adapted in some way for this new era.
Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it seems there is even more of a reason not to sweat the future of the Planet of the Apes franchise. Per the outlet, Fox is making moves to create a new chapter in the long-running franchise. This is the first major Fox IP to get any new treatment from Disney. At this point in time, it’s unclear if this new movie will reboot the Planet of the Apes story once more (fitting with the spirit of Fox being under new ownership) or continue the story laid out in the most recent trilogy starring Andy Serkis. It’s similarly unclear if Serkis will return in any capacity but there’s a chance he may not as he’s currently following previous two-time Planet of the Apes director and collaborator Matt Reeves to the upcoming flick The Batman.
The Planet of the Apes movie franchise has a storied and prominent place in the modern film era. The original film series (five films total, to be exact), which began with 1968’s Planet of the Apes, starred Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter and was adapted from the French science fiction novels of the same name written by Pierre Boulle. In 2001, Tim Burton rebooted the first Planet of the Apes film and brought in Mark Wahlberg and Helena Bonham Carter to star. Most recently, a new trilogy led by Serkis but also starring James Franco, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and Woody Harrelson (in various installments) was released from 2011 to 2017.