War is almost upon us and it doesn't look good for humankind. Well, at least the humans in War for the Planet of the Apes. As an audience member, things are looking pretty great. The third movie in Fox's rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise has been scoring big with critics and will clean up at the box office this weekend. Looks like this is going to be the conclusion to a truly great modern trilogy. But is that the end for director Matt Reeves and the franchise? Perhaps not. Assuming he can fit future Apes movies into his Batman schedule, he wants to keep going.
Matt Reeves recently spoke with Fandango in anticipation of War for the Planet of the Apes arriving in theaters this weekend. During the chat, Reeves revealed that he wants to do more of these movies and thinks that, instead of retelling a story we already know, the best way to continue would be to keep unfolding the events prior to the original Planet of the Apes movie. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Well, for me the idea of these stories is that they're leading on a trajectory toward the originals...What I'm interested in, and what I'm excited about, is the journey toward them; because the story no longer is about what happens, we know what happens, it becomes Planet of the Apes. But the world that's described in each film is different from the world that we know from the '68 film, and it becomes an opportunity to explain how we get there, and that becomes an opportunity to hold a mirror up to human nature. And really, when we're looking at this ape nature, we're looking at ourselves as reflected in these apes, that's why we identify with them."
Tim Burton already tried to remake Planet of the Apes in 2001 with Mark Wahlberg and, to put it bluntly, it was terrible. Matt Reeves might have better luck, but why remake a movie that doesn't need it? Instead, as he suggests, it is probably a better idea to take a long journey and discover what got the world to that point. In fact, War for the Planet of the Apes is going to plant some potential seeds for these future Planet of the Apes prequels. Namely, Steve Zahn's character Bad Ape. Here's how Matt Reeves Explains it.
"When [co-writer] Mark [Bomback] and I came up with the idea for Bad Ape in War, that was to imply the idea that there would be apes out there in the world that Caesar and his apes knew nothing of, and that they wouldn't have had the benefit of Caesar's leadership and the values that he had instilled in his community....Future conflicts in this kind of epic journey [may] take us toward the '68 movie without necessarily ever getting there [and] could be about conflicts between apes, not just conflicts between humans and apes. And so, to me there are many more exciting stories to be told, and I would love to tell those stories."
Fox, with or without Matt Reeves, is probably going to want more Planet of the Apes movies. War for the Planet of the Apes is projected to make north of $80 million this weekend and is one of the best-reviewed movies of 2017 so far. Reeves is going to work on The Batman over at Warner Bros. with Ben Affleck now that his obligations with Caesar are over with. But if Fox feels like being patient, he could jump back over to the Apes franchise after that. Or he could pass the baton to another worthy filmmaker. But after War for the Planet of the Apes, it will be hard to imagine another director handling the franchise.