There have been few words about the next director Wes Ball Planet of the Apes sequel, except that it will apparently continue the story started in 2011 The Ascension of the Planet of the Apes. The most recent chapter in this saga was director Matt Reeves’ 2017 masterpiece War for the Planet of the Apes, but with the death of the monkey-headed Caesar, it seems likely that his son Cornelius will have to carry on his father’s legacy. Which could mean the new sequel will be a reboot of Franklin Schaffner’s original 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
Let me also note that I am specifically referring to this sequel as possibly rebooting the 1968 film, rather than being another adaptation of the 1963 novel. The Planet of the Apes written by Pierre Boulle, who inspired Schaffner’s film. The novel is wildly different from the movies it inspired, first and foremost in that events take place on another planet, not Earth, and so the twist’s ending is different as well. So, with so many Easter eggs and references to the 1968 film, the modern trilogy seems destined to lead to a reboot of Schaffner’s original film adaptation.
As a huge fan of the show, and especially the latest trilogy, I’m sad that Matt Reeves is gone, but I’m so thrilled to see him do Batman movies that I can’t shed many tears over his absence. from monkeys franchise. So I’m happy to see what Ball is doing with the story.
I have to admit, I assumed that Disney would eventually continue this franchise (as well as the Extraterrestrial franchise) as a streaming series on Disney+, not with more theatrical releases, and I’m still wondering if they might decide to make the sequel a streamer exclusive. This would make CGI-heavy production cheaper in the long run, either as a multi-movie set, as a miniseries, or as an ongoing series.
Also, I want to say publicly that I don’t want to know too a lot about Ball’s movie so far, so I’m glad they’ve kept a lid on most of the details beyond confirming that he’s continuing the story started in the prequel trilogy, and that it should be out in 2023 or 2024 (I’m sure pandemic considerations play a big role in the final date, so it might be a while before we get some clarity on that).
But what we know so far is enough to whet our appetites and spark discussion about how things might progress in the future. If Caesar’s legacy continues, as Ball said, it strongly suggests that his son Cornelius and the larger plans for the apes to build their own society will be at the heart of the next film.
One theory is that we could see the beginnings of this society and how it evolves into a more authoritarian state that suppresses the truth of history and hunts all remaining humans to be executed or used as slaves.
Or we could see a story unfold later in the timeline, after the ape society is fully established and Cornelius (whose name strongly suggests he will play a similar role to the character of Cornelius in the 1968 film) is older and part of the government, and at the time the Icarus spacecraft – which is mentioned as a mission to Mars in The Ascension of the Planet of the Apes, and referenced in a later title titled “Lost in Space?” — returns to Earth.
I suspect the latter is the more likely approach for the sequel. The inclusion of the girl named Nova in War for the Planet of the Apes is a good indicator that a sequel will include elements of the 1968 story. The character is obviously the character of the same name from the 1968 film, who becomes an eventual love interest for human astronauts returning from space several years later .
In real time, Nova would be around 18 now, but if the movie assumes many years have passed and Cornelius is much older in the story, Nova could potentially be over 30 if she were to appear in the sequel. coming. .
The astronauts themselves were traveling to Mars, according to The Ascension of the Planet of the Apes, but somehow got lost along the way. If the ship suffered a malfunction, it’s possible it was stalled for a long time before finally returning to Earth some 20 years later to find the other apes have taken over and humanity has gone into a state. primitive. This would, however, mean that the astronauts are aware that they have returned to Earth, which could preclude the inclusion of any “twist” to be discovered.
Alternatively, the astronauts may have encountered a strange phenomenon that makes them suspect they have returned to Earth in an alternate universe to their own, where other apes evolved into the dominant species while humans remained in a more primitive state. It would leave them with the false impression that they’re on a planet where evolution happened differently, either until some ending reveals they’re actually on their own Earth, or – better I’d say , since the audience is already in on the secret from the start – perhaps the astronauts can make the discovery around the middle of the film and the end can include a decidedly different climactic reveal.
My personal opinion is that the astronauts should test out a new form of propulsion that doesn’t work as intended, so the astronauts experience a brief time warp and abort their mission, quickly returning to Earth. But the time warp that seemed to only take a few seconds or minutes for them was actually much longer, resulting in decades back on Earth. This way, astronauts can feel like they’ve either arrived on a different planet, or entered an alternate reality where evolution has led to other apes taking over the world.
Even in this scenario, I think the astronauts could still discover the secret earlier than in the 1968 film, allowing the remake to set a different surprise at the end. Or maybe it doesn’t need to be changed at all, if the astronauts discover the secret in the middle of the story and instead of being treated as a plot twist, it’s a suspicion that the main character has it all along and sets out to prove it, while the monkeys are determined to keep him from revealing it to their entire society.
The pieces are all in place now for the next chapter to return to the roots of the franchise. In that case, I would humbly suggest that the title of the new film be simply what it leads to from the start – The Planet of the Apes.
I’ll be back with more info on the future of the monkeys franchise as soon as a new one is available, so stay tuned, dear readers!