Although Disney's next Planet of the Apes has yet to release, an exciting update from one of its writers has teased an exciting future for the franchise.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the fourth entry in the rebooted franchise, but it will focus on a different protagonist after Andy Serkis' Caesar died at the end of the first trilogy. While plot details are still shrouded in secrecy, the title hints that the film will focus on a more established ape community.
Marketing has yet to begin, but Disney has already provided a glimpse of what to expect by showcasing an official still featuring Owen Teague's Cornelius.
Now, an important update has been revealed.
Planet of the Apes 4 Writer Hypes Up Franchise's Future
In an exclusive interview with FilmSpeak, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes writer Rick Jaffa shared why the fourth installment is the beginning of a brand new batch of stories for the franchise:
“It’s one of those things where it starts with a germ of an idea, but if it’s got fertile ground, it can really grow.”
Jaffa's tease is in line with what Deadline's Justin Kroll said last June when his sources mentioned that 20th Century Studios and Disney were "very high" about the movie's script, with him noting that the film will "hopefully lead future installments of [a] new trilogy of films."
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes writer Amanda Silver then provided an update about the movie's production, indicating that they're "about to close production.” Jaffa then interjected by saying that production has three weeks left.
After Caesar died at the end of the last movie, Silver confirmed that she and Jaffa had a "brief period of mourning" for the former protagonist.
However, Silver and Jaffa were eager to go to work since the latter insisted that “there’s just a lot of story left to tell.”
Kingdom also has an impressive pool of writers aside from Silver and Jaffa as Avatar 3, 4, and 5 co-writer Josh Friedman and The Maze Runner trilogy's Wes Ball are involved.
Jaffa also confirmed that Kingdom will not totally ignore Caesar and his sacrifice at War for the Planet of the Apes, teasing that the movie will explore his legacy:
“Caesar created something and left a legacy. So then the questions are: what happens with that? What becomes of his legacy?”
Jaffa also added that it is not yet the time to connect the new movies with the original ones just yet:
“Do we want to rush toward an ending [the beginning of the original Planet of the Apes], or do we want to find an interesting story to tell with interesting characters? ”
Kingdom is the first time that the duo has written an Apes film since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the second film of the first trilogy.
As they returned to a world that they had helped build, Silver and Jaffa shared that they have "a lot of ideas" that they are hoping to set up with this entry:
“We did have a lot of ideas and so we sat down with Josh, Wes, Joe Hartwick Jr. - Wes’s producing partner - and starting kicking stuff around.”
Jaffa also believes that the team came up with something that they are “really excited about” while also sharing that he and Silver had “been loving what [they’ve] been seeing from the dailies.”
How New Planet of the Apes Expands the Franchise (Theory)
Given that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set to follow the aftermath of the first trilogy, it's clear that there are more stories to tell despite Caesar not being at the forefront.
Based on the title, a successful ape community may be the main focus, exploring the ramifications of Caesar's death and how the apes thrived against the humans.
One way for Kingdom to stand out is to veer away from the usual apes vs. human conflict and focus instead on an antagonist from the same community.
Another kingdom may rise to challenge Cornelius' people, or a difference in opinion in dealing with humans could raise a potential conflict.
Hopefully, the exciting update from Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa is a promising sign that whatever story Kingdom will set up will be expanded through another round of movies.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes arrives in theaters sometime in 2024.