20th Century Studios is moving full steam ahead on its latest shot at the Planet of the Apes franchise. Announced as something in the works by the Disney-owned studio last year, pre-production is apparently already underway as the movie has hired Daniel Dorrance as it's production designer. Dorrance is a long-time collaborator with filmmaker Wes Ball, the director behind the film.
The production designer and Ball worked together on both Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Maze Runner: The Death Cure. The two were also set to work together on Mouse Guard, an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name. 20th Century Fox, as it was then called, shelved the project after Disney purchased the studio and its assets. It was set to begin filming shortly after the record-setting merger was finalized.
Dorrance is no stranger to action blockbusters — prior to his work on the Maze Runner movies, he also earned credits on The Expendables III, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Mark Wahlberg's Max Payne. Prior to his work as a production designer, Dorrance served as art director on several genre-adjacent movies including Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens, Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk, and Mission Impossible II and III.
Shortly after news of the movie first surfaced, Ball took to Twitter to share his excitement with boarding the project. "I’ll say this about Apes... I grew up on the original and absolutely love the previous trilogy," he wrote on Twitter. "I would only do this if I felt I could offer something special while still honoring what’s come before. We have something that’s shaping up to be an awesome chapter to this franchise."
Ball also has a close connection with Matt Reeves, the director behind two of the last three Apes movies — Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. Reeves was also on-tap to producer the discard Mouse Guard flick.
The latest Planet of the Apes flick has yet to set a release date.