Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' Ending Explained by Director; Future Movies Teased (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Noa in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

The director of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes teased how the film's ending set up what might be next for Owen Teague's Noa and Freya Allen's Mae.

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

The film's last act brings about massive plot revelations for the world of these Apes movies.

By the time the credits roll, Mae received a special encryption key from the now-flooded silo that could be the answer to humanity’s salvation, Noa’s eagle mastery got Proximus Caesar thrown off a cliff, and the relationship between Mae and Noa ended on a notably strained (seeing as Mae feels the need to have her revolver with her) but calm note.

The Beginning of More Apes Films

Mae and Noa in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
20th Century

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes director Wes Ball confirmed the film's ending was intended to be "the beginning of the next movie" in the franchise.

Ball explained how they would "love to continue telling this story:"

"That's the goal. That's the hope. We'll see if fans kind of take to these characters and this story. Because we'd love to continue telling this story, we've certainly got ideas, and we laid track for where this could ultimately go."

"[There are] many more possibilities as to where the story could go" in future on-screen installments, he added:

"The ending is, strangely, it's less the end of our movie and [more] the beginning of the next movie. You know, we've tried to find a nice good closure for the story that we began. But there's literally a door that opens at the end to hopefully many, many more possibilities, you know, and the relationship between Mae and Noa and how they've changed each other, you know, it's going to be crucial moving forward, as they kind of navigate the future together somehow."

With both Noa and Nova (also known as Mae in the film), many fans before release had floating theories that some of these characters could be directly related to those from previous films

When asked if he considered giving a relation like that to either Noa or Mae, Ball candidly admitted, "No, actually," when adding that the "understand[s] the instinct" of including a connection like that:

"No, actually, yeah. Again, it was that thing where it seems obvious, but it kind of ends up being this baggage that you're carrying. And I understand the instinct, I actually understand the instinct from people. So instead, we tried to do it more fate connects Noa, fate and destiny kind of connect Noa to Caesar, even to the point where everyone kept talking about the scar on his chest. 'It's the Caesar's birthmark.' I knew they're gonna do that. But you see where he gets that scar, he gets it by getting zapped."

"[The characters] are spiritually connected," the Apes director elaborated, regarding noting that he doesn't feel like there needs to be a blood connection for audiences to "fall in love with Noa:"

"And so there's this idea, I think, throughout the movie, even look at the first frame of the movie and the last frame of the movie, they are spiritually connected. But they don't need to be like Star Wars or some other, you know, movie that we've seen constantly where everything's connected by blood. We don't need to go there. It's like I get the instinct. It's all good. You can you can fall in love with Noa as much as you could if he was the great, great, great, great grandson of Caesar."

In the movie, there are two notable character deaths, Peter Macon’s Raka and Kevin Durand’s Proximis Caesar. However, audiences never see a body for either.

While speaking to The Direct, Macon joked, "No body no crime."

When pointed out to Durand that many audiences feel they heard Proximus’ ape noises during the credits, all the actor could say was that he has his fingers crossed and that he "would leap into [a return] with such incredible enthusiasm:"

"Well, you know what? All I can say is that my fingers, my toes, everything that I can possibly cross are crossed. Because I would leap into [a return] with such incredible enthusiasm and full spirit and heart because I love playing this character and being a part of this world. This lineage."

What's Next for the Planet of the Apes?

One of the strongest elements of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the dynamic between Noa and Mae.

The grey area that Mae exists in, especially by the movie's end, would be an exciting relationship to explore further. She does not want to be at odds with Noa or his people, but for her, the consequences of her actions could be the difference between life and extinction.

The dynamic between the duo could easily become a pillar of the next handful of Planet of the Apes movies. It might feasibly lead to a situation in which, despite reluctance, the two become enemies, all in the name of saving their respective species.

As for the seeming death of Poximus and Raka, since no bodies were seen, either could be brought back into the picture with little fuss. Though it’s worth noting that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes also had ape noises in its credits that led people to believe Koba (the movie's villain) was not dead—but no further storyline with him materialized.

No further Apes movies are currently confirmed, so Kingdom's box office success will likely be a huge factor in future installments.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is now playing in theaters.

- In This Article: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date
May 10, 2024
Freya Allan
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.