One of the most high-profile films on Disney’s production slate is a new entry in the Planet of the Apes saga, with Wes Ball stepping in for Matt Reeves as the movie’s director. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard any updates concerning the franchise’s future, leading many fans to wonder if the studio abandoned the project entirely. Regardless, 20th Century Studios president Steve Asbell is now dismissing any doubts.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Asbell briefly addressed the status of the next Apes sequel. He confirmed that Ball is still the director, and presumably, Josh Friedman is still collaborating with him on the script. But if everything works out, the film could roll cameras by the end of the year.
“We are expecting a draft very shortly, and it’s Wes Ball attached to direct,” said Asbell. “We hope to go by the late summer, early fall.”
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Planet of the Apes was one of many big franchises that Disney inherited following its acquisition of 20th Century Studios in 2019. And Disney wasted virtually no time in getting another sequel off the ground, with Ball coming aboard later that year. Ball has previously stressed that his film isn’t a reboot and will instead continue the legacy of Andy Serkis’ Caeser.
However, it might not have the same gritty and tragic flavor of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes or its two sequels directed by Reeves. When asked how 20th Century’s films distinguish themselves from more mainstream Disney fare, Asbell seemed to imply that Ball’s movie will skew toward a more general audience.
“In relation to the other brands — Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Animation — we are closer to what you call ‘general entertainment’ on the TV side,” added Asbell. “Some films will be more Disney-adjacent — Avatar, Free Guy, Planet of the Apes — and some films will be edgier.”
Are you happy to hear that another Planet of the Apes movie is still happening? How do you feel about a more family-friendly sequel? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Planet of the Apes Omnibus
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