After a long period without any major updates, a new instalment in the Planet of the Apes movie saga is finally nearing production – the first update since 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes.
As the project is not even in production yet, very little is known about the story of the coming film, other than that there does seem to be a finished script and that the production has moved to begin the search for a cast.
Role of the Iconic Ape & Chosen Director
Deadline has reported that 20th Century Studio has already chosen their ideal actor for the role of the lead ape in the new Planet of the Apes movie and that they have contacted Owen Teague.
It seems that the project has quietly been in development for several years, with Wes Ball serving as director. He even made comments on Twitter relating to the next movie. Now that the film is starting to get further, it is gaining steam quickly.
“Earlier this summer, Ball delivered a script to the studio that instantly excited execs about where the new story could take fans of the franchise. A casting process began soon after that. Prior to the fourth of July holiday, execs and Ball began testing talent for lead roles. While the search remains for the main human role, Teague wowed execs with his screen tests and was offered the role in recent weeks.”
Teague recently appeared in the TV miniseries version of The Strand and is well-known for his roles in IT and IT Chapter 2.
Story of the Next Planet of the Apes
Back in February of 2020, Ball had commented on Twitter that the film wasn’t going to be a reboot of the previous movies, but that it was still “safe to say that Caesar’s legacy will continue.”
Caesar was the lead ape from the previous Planet of the Apes trilogy as played by Andy Serkis. The Planet of the Apes movie saga first started more than 50 years ago, however, Andy Serkis’ Caesar marks the beginning of the new saga, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) when he becomes the first sentient and intelligent ape of the story. His following movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). His story ends with War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) when near the end of the film, his friends promise him that his legacy will live on and that all will know what he sacrificed for them.
The nine-movie-long saga has a convoluted timeline that is mixed with past and present movies, so it will be interesting to see where the latest one fits into the story. It is not clear where this newly completed script will take the story, especially as Ball’s comments on Twitter were made more than two years ago, and a lot could have changed about the story since then, including its status within the well-established canon, or whether it fits in with the saga at all.
Rooted in the reality that animals could rise against us at any second, Planet of the Apes is an enduring movie franchise that has plenty of room for new discoveries and secrets to uncover.
Are you excited about the new Planet of the Apes movie in production?