Director/Producer Of ‘Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Discusses Crafting A ‘Prequel And Sequel’ To The Beloved Franchise – Watch Trailer


In the closing scenes of 1968’s “Planet of the Apes,” Charlton Heston’s George Taylor experiences a profound realization as he pounds his fists into the sand: the unsettling planet he’s been exploring is none other than Earth itself. As the waves crash around him, and the worn-out remnants of the Statue of Liberty emerge, cinema witnesses the birth of one of its most unforgettable moments.

This momentous scene not only captivated audiences but also left a lasting impression on a young Wes Ball, now the director/producer behind 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” hitting theaters nationwide this weekend. (The film, receiving rave reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, will also be screened in IMAX®, Dolby Cinema®, 4DX, ScreenX, and premium screens everywhere.)

“Kingdom” represents the latest installment in the Planet of the Apes saga following the groundbreaking success of three previous films (2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” and 2017’s “War for the Planet of the Apes”), collectively amassing $1.6 billion worldwide.

Set in a distant future after the events of “War,” the new film follows the perilous journey of a young ape navigating a burgeoning empire. Ball describes “Kingdom” as both a continuation and a precursor to the previous trilogy, bridging the gap between those films and the iconic 1968 classic.

While “Kingdom” introduces a fresh narrative, it remains faithful to the signature elements of the Planet of the Apes series, notably employing innovative special effects that bring its simian characters to life through performance capture technology.

Furthermore, the film employs cutting-edge technology to construct a post-apocalyptic world, where rusted ships litter the shores and skyscrapers are reclaimed by nature.

“This movie is built for that great collective dream that we all enter when we go to a theater together. It’s meant to be big,” Ball said. “You want to immerse yourself in this world that is just incredibly rich and visual.”

Yet, beyond its visual spectacle, the Planet of the Apes franchise is renowned for its profound storytelling, serving as a reflection of humanity itself. For Ball, it’s a narrative that holds up a mirror to human nature, reminding us of our essence and the intricacies of our existence.

“You see humanity, even though they’re apes,” he said. “There’s plenty of stuff that I think will resonate with audiences about the world today. But we hope audiences just have a great adventure with these new characters and that Kingdom continues this legacy of films that have been iconic for the last 55 years.”