The most recent additions to the Planet of the Apes franchise are some of the greatest blockbusters of modern times. Featuring stunning special effects, a deep, contemplative story, and an awe-inspiring central performance from Andy Serkis, it is no wonder that fans are concerned about Disney's Planet of the Apes plans. Thankfully, director Wes Ball, who will be helming Planet of the Apes 4 is here to put minds at ease.

"We have a take. We have a way of staying in the universe that was created before us, but we're also opening ourselves up in being able to do some really cool new stuff. Again, I'm trying to be careful here. I'll say this, for fans of the original three don't worry - you're in good hands."
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"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."

Well, that is surprisingly quite reassuring. Wes Ball is insistent that while his take on the long-running sci-fi series will branch off into new territory, they are not planning to leave behind what came before entirely. The presence of some of the writers and crew who worked on the previous Planet of the Apes movies is sure to calm the concerns that many have with Disney taking over the franchise.

Wes Ball is primarily known for directing The Maze Runner trilogy, a young-adult dystopian thriller based on the novels by author James Dashner. Despite a warm critical reception to the first movie back in 2014, each installment saw diminished returns both critically and financially. Other than that, Ball was also on board to helm the big-budget adaptation of the Mouse Guard for 20th Century Fox before Disney halted the production.

Like many productions at the moment, work on the new Planet of the Apes was shut down in the name of public health and social distancing sanctions, but this has not stopped Ball from working on his movie, with the director even able to continue his creative efforts with his collaborators from home. According to Ball, "We were in the development phase. So we're writing. I was already meeting with my writer Josh Friedman on Zoom for weeks before this all hit" he said to Discussing Film. "We already had a routine of jumping on Zoom and chatting about the script. In that sense, nothing has really changed. What I found a little bit myself is that I've been incredibly bursting with ideas in this time."

With 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes ending the modern trilogy with much fanfare, it is encouraging to hear that Wes Ball's sequel will not be a reboot but a continuation, and this detail is sure to add to the excitement. This comes to us from Discussing Film.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge