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The Sequel To War For The Planet Of The Apes: Everything We Know So Far

Few Hollywood franchises have proven to be as enduring as Planet of the Apes. The original film premiered in 1968 and blew away audiences with its high-concept sci-fi story and a twist ending that has gone down as one of the best in history. Since then, there have been eight other feature films under the Planet of the Apes banner, not to mention the TV series it spawned.

The latest reboot of the series began with 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a prequel that chronicled the events that would lead to furry primates claiming dominance over the Earth. Two sequels — Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes — followed. Although the trilogy didn't reach quite the same level of total box office dominance as other big-budget franchises of the time, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Star Wars sequel trilogy, each of the movies enjoyed both financial success and resounding critical praise. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the series has another movie in development.

The follow-up to War for the Planet of the Apes is still in its early days, but we do already have some information to parse through. Here's everything we know so far about the new Planet of the Apes movie.

Will the new Planet of the Apes movie reboot the franchise?

Without spoiling anything directly, the latest movie in the franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes, has an ending that could very well serve as the grand finale of that particular trilogy of movies. That raises the question of whether the next movie is going to continue the story of the previous installments, or reboot again and change everything up.

That is an especially pertinent question in the wake of Disney's acquisition of what was 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the Planet of the Apes films, which has since been rebranded as 20th Century Studios. It wasn't just the name that changed — many movies that were in development were canceled, and existing franchises like Marvel's X-Men were slated for major retooling (via Variety).

One property that escaped that fate, though, was Planet of the Apes. According to Variety, Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that Planet of the Apes would continue unchanged.

Upon announcement that a new Apes movie was in development, it was also revealed that Wes Ball of The Maze Runner fame had been tapped to direct. He confirmed what Iger had teed up previously: Planet of the Apes wasn't set for any kind of major revamp. During a May 2020 interview with Discussing Film, Ball was cagey about his plans for the upcoming movie, but he did offer a hint. "We have a take," the filmmaker teased. "We have a way of staying in the universe that was created before us."

It seems that whatever the plot of the new Planet of the Apes movie ends up being, it will indeed follow in the footsteps of the recent films.

Why Wes Ball thinks fans of the franchise are going to love his new Planet of the Apes movie

While talking about his upcoming entry in the franchise with Discussing Film, Ball didn't give away many specific details about the plot, but he did have a message for those who enjoyed the latest reboot trilogy. "Fans of the original three don't worry –- you're in good hands," he promised. "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."

He went on to add that his movie "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." In a separate tweet, he offered the reassuring yet similarly vague promise that "Caesar's legacy will continue."

While the director so far hasn't provided a ton of concrete information, it does seem to imply that Ball's movie will be using the foundation created by the prequel series to launch a new story of some kind. Of course, until we get some more confirmed details about the project, we won't be able to say for sure. But there's also some good news on that front — despite the fact that the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the film and TV industry, Ball told Discussing Film in that May 2020 interview that he was hopeful that the movie's heavy use of CG meant they might be able to start filming sooner, rather than later.

Since then, there hasn't been much news about the project, but based on what we've heard thus far, there are a lot of good things on the horizon for Planet of the Apes fans.