Earlier today it was revealed that Disney is wasting no time in taping into the new archive of content at their disposal having now acquired 20th Century Fox and all their film properties. The studio is now developing a new film in the Planet of the Apes series, and has tapped Maze Runner director Wes Ball to helm the project. Whether this new feature is yet another reboot of the property (which has twice now started from scratch) or will continue the trilogy of films that starred Andy Serkis remains to be seen, but Ball has now teased his intentions with a new chapter in the series.
The news of Ball's involvement in the film comes a few months after development was cancelled on his feature film adaptation of Mouse Guard, something Disney shelved after purchasing Fox. It seems that after that project stalled out that Ball's future involvement with the studio didn't waver though and that his love for the Apes franchise brought him to his next 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."
The director followed this up with one more note about his involvement, saying: "It also doesn’t hurt I’m friends with all the folks behind these movies."
For context, director Matt Reeves, who helmed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, was previously attached to produce Ball's Mouse Guard movie before it went into turnaround. Caesar himself Andy Serkis was also previously attached to that project as well. In addition, the primary visual effects team on the final two films in the Maze Runner series was none other than Weta Digital, most famous for working on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films but whose ground breaking work on the three Planet of the Apes movies revolutionized movie making on an unsung level. Chris White, the visual effects supervisor for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, filled the same role on Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Disney chief Bob Iger previously said that Disney intended to pursue further entries in the franchise earlier this year. This development marks the first major project from the 20th Century Fox vault that has been put in the works by Disney since the acquisition. The studio recently set release dates for many untitled films through the year 2023, including untitled Fox movies, one of which could end up being where a new Planet of the Apes movie lands.