Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes director Wes Ball drew inspiration from Star Wars and Apocalypto when making the film
The Maze Runner trilogy director Wes Ball’s addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, is set to reach theatres on May 24, 2024 – and in an interview with Empire magazine, Ball revealed that he has drawn inspiration from the likes of Star Wars and Apocalypto when putting together his Apes movie.
According to Empire, Ball is making Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes “an adventure movie, tonally distinct from the darker impulses of the recent Apes trilogy, while hoping to retain what made those films so special.” The director said, “When I first started on it, I said, ‘I feel like Apes needs a little bit of Star Wars’. It’s all still very grounded in reality, but it is essentially a quest narrative. Our main character – the young, impressionable Noa [Owen Teague] – meets characters along the way and becomes awakened as he winds up in a place that will test him, and he ultimately becomes his true self.” Ball then added that Apocalypto was an influence on the film as well. “We haven’t kiddified it, or Disneyfied it, if I’m allowed to say that! But we have brought a younger spirit to it.“
The story of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set many years after the conclusion of War for the Planet of the Apes. Many apes societies have grown from when the Moses-like Caesar brought his people to an oasis, while humans have been reduced to a feral-like existence. Some groups have never heard of Caesar, while others have contorted his teaching to build burgeoning empires. In this setting, one ape leader begins to enslave other groups to find human technology, while another ape, who watched his clan be taken, embarks on a journey to find freedom. A young human woman becomes key to latter’s quest, although she has plans of her own.
Here’s the official synopsis: 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.
Ball also confirmed there has been “a big leap forward in time” since the events of the previous Apes movie. “It’s significant enough that Caesar is still a spirit in the movie, but most of his living relatives are not in this picture. If the last three movies were the Stone Age, here we get to see what happens when they enter the Bronze Age.“
The film stars Owen Teague (IT), Freya Allan (The Witcher), Kevin Durand (Locke & Key), Peter Macon (Shameless), William H. Macy (Fargo), Eka Darville (Jessica Jones), Travis Jeffery (Unbroken), Sara Wiseman (One Of Us Is Lying), Neil Sandilands (Sweet Tooth), Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi (The Clearing), Dichen Lachman (Jurassic World: Dominion), and Lydia Peckham (Cowboy Bebop).
Ball’s involvement with Planet of the Apes was first announced at the end of 2019. In 2020, he confirmed that development of the project continued through Zoom conversations during the pandemic shutdown. He crafted the screenplay with Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Patrick Aison. Ball also said that his movie is going to feel like the recent Apes movies (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) but will also be doing its own thing.
Ball produced Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes with Jaffa, Silver, Joe Hartwick Jr., and Jason Reed (“Mulan”). Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping serve as executive producers.
Are you looking forward to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes? What do you think of the director drawing influence from Star Wars and Apocalypto? Share your thoughts on this one by leaving a comment below.
Here’s a new image from the film: