When it comes to successful film franchise reboots, few have done it better than Planet of the Apes.
After hitting the big screen back in 1968, the original Planet of the Apes saw four more sequels that ran through 1973. Then, in 2001, Tim Burton tried to kickstart the long-dormant franchise with a remake, only to be met with harsh critical reviews. Finally, in 2011, Ruper Wyatt's rebooted prequel starring James Franco and Freida Pinto along with Andy Serkis saw enough success among audiences and critics alike to get a sequel in 2014 with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017 in War for the Planet of the Apes.
Fast forward to this year and talks of the Wes Ball-led fourth installment are starting to gain traction.
Following Matt Reeves' turn at the helm in 2014 and 2017, Ball, who is best known for The Maze Runner trilogy of films, will finally get his chance at Planet of the Apes 4 after years of production delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
20th Century Studios president Steve Asbell revealed some info about Planet of the Apes 4 in a recent THR interview, where he mentioned that the studio is "expecting a draft very shortly." Asbell confirmed that Wes Ball is still "attached to direct" and that the film is expected to start filming in "late summer, early fall."
Each of the Planet of the Apes films saw a significant time jump in between the movies. It would be reasonable to expect a similar setting for the fourth Planet of Apes. Unfortunately, Asbell's statement was not much to go on as far as which characters are returning for the reboot's fourth film and which time it will be set in. But, we do know that the pressure is on Ball to prove himself, as he is set to direct, product, and write Planet of the Apes 4.
If Planet of the Apes 4 becomes just as big of a hit at the global box office as the three films that preceded it, Ball could kickstart another trilogy, one that could see the story take place further into a future where apes have truly taken over planet Earth.
In other news, Asbell discussed a lot of the studio's upcoming projects in the same interview. Case in point, we found out that Asbell is confident that Avatar 2 will premiere later this year. In addition, the studio is also waiting on the Free Guy 2 script to be finished albeit Ryan Reynolds' busy schedule suggests that the sequel won't start filming anytime soon.