PLANET OF THE APES 4 Is Moving Forward Towards Production

It's been five years since the last entry in the film series, but Planet of the Apes 4 is finally moving forward towards production.

So far there have been nine Planet of the Apes films, consisting of the classive five-chapter series from 1968 to 1973, Tim Burton's 2001 remake and the recent trilogy consisting of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017). Now, with Disney acquiring Fox, the ownership of POTA has fallen to the Mouse House and they seem very serious about keeping the franchise moving forward. 

It began with the recent announcement that for the first time since the 1970s Marvel will be publishing new Apes comics, and we now have some updates on what they are tenatively calling Planet of the Apes 4. Wes Ball (the Maze Runner series), announced as director some time ago, has cleared his schedule of other projects, including Paramount's Harbinger, which he just dropped out of, seemingly indicating that Apes  is becoming more of a priority. 

On top of that, Justin Kroll, a reporter for Deadline, Tweeted the following: "On the Ball front, sources say 20th and Disney were very high on the scrtipt that came in last month and are now set to find the star that will hopefully lead future installments of a new trilogy of films."

This is a bit surprising, as many assumed that Andy Serkis, who played the chimpanzee Caesar in the new trilogy, would be returning in a new role in Bell's film. There's certain precedent for that given that Roddy McDowall portrayed chimp Cornelius in 1968's Planet of the Apes and 1971's Escape from the Planet of the Apes, and then portrayed his own son, Caesar, in 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Some time ago, Ball spoke to discussingfilm.net, and said this of Apes: "My big thing was, what do you do for a Planet of the Apes sequel? One, those last three movies are one of the great trilogies we have in modern movie history. They are just so well done. They honored the original movies they sprang from, the Charlton Heston movies, but they grounded it in a modern sensibility and it just worked. Caesar is one of the great movie charcters that we'll have throughout time. So what do you do to follow that up, right? At the same time, I wasn't interested in doing a part four either. We want to also do our own thing.

"We have a take," he adde. "We have a way of staying in the univers that wsa created before us, but we're also opening ourselves up in being able to do some really cool new stuff. I'll say this: for fans of the original three, don't worry, you're in good hands. The original writers and producers that came up with Rise and Dawn, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, they're also on board with this. Josh Friedman is writing this thing; a lot of the same crew is kind of involved. We will feel like we're part of that original trilogy, but at the same time we're able to do some really cool new stuff. It will be really exciting to see on the biggest screen possible."

The belief is that Planert of the Apes 4 will go into production some time this year and could be released as soon as late 2023 or in 2024. 

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