The fates of many 20th Century Fox properties have been up in the air since Disney acquired the studio earlier this year. But now, it looks like one major franchise is poised to make a comeback. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Wes Ball has been chosen to “develop and direct” a new entry in the Planet of the Apes series.
Ball is best known for helming all three Maze Runner movies, which were based on the young-adult novels written by James Dashner. Most recently, Ball was planning to adapt David Petersen’s Mouse Guard comics into an animated feature film. Although that project was initially set up at Fox, it was cancelled following the studio’s merger with Disney.
The Planet of the Apes brand has been around for nearly six decades. French author Pierre Boulle introduced the franchise in his 1963 novel La Planète des singes. The book spawned a film series that released four installments between 1968 and 1973. Tim Burton directed his own poorly received remake in 2001. A decade later, Rupert Wyatt breathed new life into the series with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a reboot that utilized cutting-edge mo-cap technology. Matt Reeves helmed two sequels that arrived in 2014 and 2017.
At this point, it’s not clear if Ball’s effort will be a continuation of the recent series or another reboot. Reeves previously expressed an interest in directing future installments after War for the Planet of the Apes hit theaters. But since Reeves is busy with The Batman, he’s probably leaving the Apes world behind him. Andy Serkis’ Caesar is also unlikely to return, as he memorably died at the end of the last film.
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Recommended Reading: Planet of the Apes Omnibus