New 'Planet of the Apes' movie could move into 'virtual production' soon, says director Wes Ball

Tom BeasleyContributor
Yahoo Movies UK
Andy Serkis as Caesar in 'War for the Planet of the Apes'. (Credit: Fox)
Andy Serkis as Caesar in 'War for the Planet of the Apes'. (Credit: Fox)

The new movie in the Planet of the Apes series could start “virtual production” very soon, according to incoming director Wes Ball.

Ball said he “wasn’t interested in doing a part four” of the previous trilogy, starring Andy Serkis as ape leader Caesar, and reassured fans of those movies they are “in good hands”.

Read more: New Apes movie won’t be a reboot

The Maze Runner filmmaker took over the Apes franchise when it was acquired by Disney in the wake of its merger with Fox.

Ball, who had seen his comic book adaptation Mouse Guard cancelled during the merger, told Discussing Film he was offered the chance to helm the new Apes film after that other project fell apart.

Wes Ball at the fan screening of 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' on Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Wes Ball at the fan screening of 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' on Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

“We have a way of staying in the universe that was created before us, but we’re also opening ourselves up in being able to do some really cool new stuff,” said Ball.

He added: “We will feel like we’re part of that original trilogy, but at the same time we’re able to do some really cool new stuff.

“It will be really exciting to see on the biggest screen possible.”

Read more: Matt Reeves discusses planned Apes spin-off

The 39-year-old filmmaker said the team behind the movie is hard at work on concept art and Avatar 2 writer Josh Friedman is penning the script.

Ball added: “We could actually be in virtual production relatively soon because it’s largely a CG movie.”

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'. (Credit: Fox)
'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'. (Credit: Fox)

The three rebooted Planet of the Apes films grossed more than $1.6bn (£1.3bn) at the global box office between 2011 and 2017.

This series was a refresh of the original franchise, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and ignored the critically reviled 2001 remake directed by Tim Burton.

Read more: Ball discusses the Disney-Fox merger

Little else is known about Ball’s film and there is no release date on the calendar as yet.

Ball made his directorial debut with 2014 YA adaptation The Maze Runner and went on to helm the other two entries in the trilogy.

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