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Matt Reeves Talks About The Future Of The Planet Of The Apes Franchise

Steve Zahn may be the future of the Planet of the Apes franchise. War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves revealed in a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies UK that Zahn's Bad Ape (and his backstory) present a game plan for where the franchise could go next.

Bad Ape is a former zoo chimpanzee who became sentient and learned to speak on his own, without Caesar's guidance. Caesar eventually encounters Bad Ape while traveling to meet up with the villainous Colonel, who is leading a group of humans in a war against the apes. "Bad Ape is actually a seed that is a forest," Reeves says of the character. "In this story we see that the idea is that the world is revealed to be much bigger than the apes ever imagined." 

Reeves went on to explain that Caesar's apes grew up with him leading them, which gives them a certain level of integrity which he instilled in them. "There are apes who grew up without the benefit of Caesar's leadership and they might not just be pockets of one or two, there might be actually colonies, and might that be where future conflicts come for Caesar's apes?" he teased.

War for the Planet of the Apes will bring the films closer to the events of 1968's Planet of the Apes, but Reeves says that viewers shouldn't expect the two properties to line up exactly. As he notes, Caesar's apes are not like the apes of the earlier film, with their adoption of young girl Nova in the upcoming film a key sign of that. "None of which is to say there's nothing literal about the connection, that's more of a trajectory," he said. 

Reeves said that that trajectory changed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in which the ALZ-113 virus accelerated the apes' takeover of the planet. "So they'll never meet up, but what it does is it tells the end of the story in a way that is taking all of these stories and removing the question of 'what happened?' and instead focusing it on the 'how?'" Reeves said. "So this ends up getting to be a blockbuster that's all about character and all about the sort of thematic, of us holding the mirror up to ourselves."

While Reeves will likely not return to direct the next Apes film (he'll be busy with The Batman), it's interesting to hear what his idea for the future is. We'll have to wait some time to learn more, though, as War for the Planet of the Apes isn't even out until July 14. The movie stars Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Amiah Miller, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Judy Greer, and Gabriel Chavarria, with Reeves directing based on a script he co-wrote with Mark Bomback (The Wolverine). While we wait for the movie to be released, see some other reboots that worked in a big way.