One of the more surprising sci-fi franchises of the 2010s turned out to be the new Planet of the Apes trilogy, which ran from 2011 to 2017 and chronicled the very beginnings of the ape-based future that the original 1968 film depicts. Throughout this franchise’s more than 50-year history, it has spawned several of the best sci-fi movies that you’re likely to catch on any streaming service. Now, a new Apes trilogy is set to launch in 2024 with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Here’s everything we know about that new installment, which will hopefully live up to the high standards of its predecessors.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is being positioned as a soft reboot for the franchise and takes place years after the “Caesary trilogy” that defined the 2010s. Ape society has taken many leaps forward in that time, and all of the characters we knew from that trilogy will not appear here. That doesn’t mean, though, that Caesar won’t be referenced.
In an interview with Empire, Wes Ball, the director of this new installment, said that this new film is set 300 years after the events of the other films and that “..if the last three movies were the Stone Age, here we get to see what happens when they enter the Bronze Age.” He also explained that the lead character of this new film, Noa, doesn’t know who Caesar is when the film begins. It’s over the course of the film that he comes to discover Caesar’s legacy, as well as the various ways it has been interpreted in the years since his death.
We also know that the film’s villain is named Proximus Caesar, the leader of a cult that is enslaving apes and turning factions against one another, and in doing so, is tarnishing Caesar’s original legacy. Here’s 20th Century Studios official description of the film:
Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.
The first trailer for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has already been released, and it gives us a sense of just how far this world has come since the days of Caesar. The film doesn’t offer much in the way of plot details but does introduce us to a number of different apes, including one young ape who appears to be Noa. On top of all that, it reveals that humanity has completely lost the ability to speak and that apes are now speaking in fluent English instead of the broken English of the Caesar trilogy.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set to hit theaters on May 24, 2024, nearly seven full years after War for the Planet of the Apes hit theaters. The movie is set to be part of a crowded Memorial Day slate that will also include the Mad Max sequel Furiosa and Chris Pratt’s animated Garfield movie.
The movie will play exclusively in theaters for its initial run. Given that it’s being released by 20th Century Studios, it seems likely that the film will head to either Hulu or Disney+ following that initial theatrical run. Given the news that Hulu and Disney+ will be combining in 2024, though, it seems likely that by the time the movie hits streaming, it will join that single combined app.
Owen Teague will be starring as Noa in this new film, taking over the central role from Andy Serkis, who used motion capture technology to play Caesar. Serkis is not returning for these new films, but Teague told The Hollywood Reporter that he did seek guidance from the motion capture revolutionary when it came time for him to start work on this film.
“The hardest part about it was just learning how to be in a suit all day and have a camera strapped to your head,” Owen explained. “But you get used to it after about a week, and I remember Andy being like, ‘You’ll get used to it, and you’ll stop worrying about it after the first week.’ And he was absolutely right.”
Kevin Durand will play Proximus Caesar, and Peter Macon will play Raka, an orangutan who becomes Noa’s ally. Freya Allen of The Witcher will play a human who tags along with Noa on his journey, and the cast also includes William H. Macy, Eka Darville, Neil Sandilands, Travis Jeffery, Ras-Samuel Weld A’abzgi, Sara Wiseman, Lydia Peckham, and Dichen Lachman.
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