Since the Fox/Disney merger a great many major Fox titles have been hanging in limbo, wondering if they will receive new movies, or if their franchises are dead and lost. According to Hollywood Reporter, the Planet of the Apes franchise will be among the first to relaunch into a new life.
Apes Relaunch Meet Maze Runner
Early reports are Maze Runner director, Wes Ball, will lead the effort. Ball will develop and direct the new movies. The Maze Runner series created a world where the future Earth laid in ruins. The problem with that is does that fit the Apes world and where it is or is going?
He also receives praise for working on smaller budgets. That coming from Disney should scare people. It means the Mouse House wants the fame of the franchise without putting the work into it. The cheapest of the current Apes movies, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, claims a $95 million budget. The second and third films of the trilogy had budgets of $170 and $150 respectively. Of course the latter two had far more digital work for many more Apes.
What Lies Ahead For the Apes Franchise?
Planning is only just beginning on the next Apes movies, so nothing is known about their direction. Will Ball’s movies be a complete reboot of the series? Or will he continue the universe, post-Caesar, that Matt Reeves created? Will there be more puppetry involved, or will he maintain the beautiful performance capture world brought to life by Reeves and Andy Serkis?
The latest trilogy is the largest success for the franchise to date and captured audience attentions like few before have. They brought the Ape world back to life. Watching Reeves’s world grow and change post-Caesar would be fascinating, or they could branch out to a different clan of apes with the outside possibility of bringing the franchises together.
A reboot would be possible as well, but with that you risk a movie in line with the Wahlberg/Burton failure of 2001. Not only that, but you throw away all the positivity and love created with the latest trilogy.
Apes Relaunch: Fandoms Will Be Watching
Ever since Disney relaunched Star Wars, it created some great product, some not so good product, and now deals with a forever divided and poisonous fan base. The Apes franchise looks to be the first Fox franchise to be tackled since the merger. How Iger and Co. handle these next movies will foreshadow what lies ahead for other Fox titles sitting in limbo.
Fandoms will and should be paying attention to what Disney does with the Apes relaunch. The last Apes trilogy arguably sits amongst the greatest trilogies, top to bottom, of all time. If they half-ass this next movie(s), it will not bode well for other franchises lacking the Apes clout. The handling of this future movie bears watching.