The Maze Runner’s Wes Ball attached to helm new Planet of the Apes!
Following Disney’s merger with 20th Century Fox and seemingly the conclusion to the rebooted Planet of the Apes series with 2017’s War, it was unclear what the future held for the long-running sci-fi franchise. Now, it appears the battle is back on as The Maze Runner helmer Wes Ball has signed on to direct and develop a new film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Based on the French novel by Pierre Boulle, the story has seen the rise of intelligent apes rising up and ruling over humans, with the film franchise beginning in 1968 with the Charlton Heston-starring hit that saw an astronaut landing on a planet in which he finds an ape civilization ruling over primitive men and women, only to discover at the end it’s actually Earth following a nuclear war.
The original film was a major critical and commercial success, spawning numerous sequels and a TV series through the ’70s and spawned a lackluster 2001 remake from Tim Burton (Dumbo) followed by an acclaimed reboot trilogy starring Andy Serkis (Black Panther) as the Moses-like leader Caesar. The trilogy ended with 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, which Matt Reeves (The Batman) and Serkis said they hoped to make more films in the franchise but after the merger, it was left in question.
Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, it was discussed a new film would be developed into the franchise that would take place in the same universe at Reeves’ reboot trilogy, but it’s currently unclear if Ball’s film will follow such plans.
Ball made his directorial debut with the 2014 big-screen adaptation of the sci-fi action young adult novel series The Maze Runner, starring Dylan O’Brien, which turned out to be a box office smash and was warmly received by critics and audiences alike and spawned two more sequels to adapt the rest of the novel series, though the follow-ups were met with more mixed reviews and smaller box office returns.
The 39-year-old director was set to adapt the Boom! Comics series Mouse Guard into a big-budget blockbuster for Fox, but given the high price tag, Disney chose to shelve the project, much to the chagrin of Ball, the ensemble cast assembled and fans looking forward to the film.
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