It’s not unexpected, but now it’s confirmed – 20th Century Studios and Disney’s upcoming “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” isn’t just a fourth entry in that franchise, it’s the start of a new trilogy.
The story takes place three centuries after the conclusion of 2017’s trilogy capper “War for the Planet of the Apes” – with numerous ape societies having grown from when Caesar brought his people to an oasis. At the same time, humans have been reduced to a feral-like existence.
As a result, Caesar’s legend is mostly lost to time but to those who do remember he’s an almost religious figure. The new film focuses on Noa, the new young ape hero of the movie which hails from director Wes Ball (“The Maze Runner”).
Actor Owen Teague plays Noa and tells Empire his character has no idea who Caesar is and “part of his journey is a discovery of that legacy and its various interpretations. Noa has to make sense of what it all means.”
The villain of the piece is Kevin Durand’s Proximus Caesar, a crown-wearing chimp with his own agenda. Durand says:
“You’re seeing the influence and the evolution of what Caesar left. And, like in every morsel of human history, there’s always some type of tyrant who comes along and scares everyone into believing them.”
Ball says right from the start, the plan wasn’t to make just a fourth film but rather to tell an even bigger story:
“From the beginning we thought about this as a trilogy. We had these grand ideas of where it could ultimately go and how it could fit into the legacy of these movies. So I’m certainly talking to [the studio] right now about the next story.
Those last three movies were about the end of something. They were about the end of this Moses story. They were about the end of humanity, and we thought, ‘From the ashes of those previous movies, we’re gonna grow a new tree to climb.’ This movie is very much about the beginning of something.”
Ball may not direct the other films as he’s got other commitments, most notably his recent job of directing “The Legend of Zelda” movie.
William H. Macy, Freya Allan, Peter Macon, Eka Darville and Dichen Lachman also star in the film which is slated to open on May 24th 2024.