A new Planet of the Apes movie is reportedly in the works at Fox. The fresh take will be directed by Wes Ball, known for the Maze Runner franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Ball's fresh take on the Planet of the Apes franchise comes just two years after the latest installment, War for the Planet of the Apes. It is the first major intellectual property at Fox to get a fresh take since Disney acquired the company earlier this year.
So far, there are few real details available about the upcoming project. It is unclear whether it will follow the same story started in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, which explained how the apes developed intelligence and became independent from humans.
The trilogy ended in 2017 with a somewhat hopeful conclusion, though most fans assumed it served as a prequel to the original series. In it, a tribe of peaceful apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis) was forced into all out war against a remaining faction of the U.S. military. They escape by traversing a large desert, ending in an oasis where they will apparently make their home.
The latter two movies in the recent trilogy were both written by Mark Bomback and directed by Matt Reeves. However, other writers were credited as well, and the first movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was directed by Ruper Wyatt. It is conceivable that Ball's new movie will take place in the same canon rather than rebooting the series.
Ball, 39, was the director behind all three Maze Runner films, adapted from the hit young adult novels written by James Dashner. Ball is also known for his work as a visual effects artist and graphic designer, so he is a good fit for a franchise that will inevitably require so much CGI.
The Maze Runner trilogy was Ball's first outing as a feature-length director. While he is reportedly developing his take on Planet of the Apes, his next project will probably be out sooner. Ball is directing an adaptation of Mouse Guard, a graphic novel originally written by David Peterson.
Mouse Guard is reportedly a live-action adaptation, starring Serkis among others. It is a fantasy story centering around a "brotherhood of mice sworn to help their fellow mice." There is no release date for the project yet, but chances are it has helped Ball secure his job on Planet of the Apes, showing his experience with motion-capture and animation.
In the mean time, Rise of the Planet of the Apes can be streamed now with a subscription to HBO Go or HBO Now.