In March, Disney officially closed on a deal to acquire 20th Century Fox, adding a ton of IP to its already-vast library. Notably, that meant that the X-Men will eventually end up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it looks like Disney has some big plans for some of Fox’s other franchises. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s begun development on a new Planet of the Apes film.
The franchise is based on the 1963 novel Planet of the Apes by French author Pierre Boulle, about a group of astronauts that land on a strange world where apes and humans have switched places. It was originally adapted for film in 1968 starring Charlton Heston and directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. That film was later followed by four additional films (Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and Battle for the Planet of the Apes), as well as a pair of TV shows. Fox produced a remake in 2001, directed by Tim Burton, and a second remake series began in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and was continued in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War of the Planet of the Apes, which earned considerable critical acclaim.
THR says that this is the first big franchise that’s getting “the redevelopment treatment” to come out of the deal. The studio is bringing on Wes Ball (Maze Runner series) to direct the project, and it’s not clear what this film will be: yet another reboot of the entire franchise, or if it’ll be a continuation of the most recent series.
That Disney is digging into Fox’s parts bin for new projects shouldn’t come as a surprise: it acquired Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios with the intention of capitalizing on those investments, all of which have paid off handsomely. Fox has a number of major franchises that are undoubtably appealing to Disney, such as Alien, Avatar, Predator, and others. And with Disney + now in the mix, it’s not inconceivable to imagine that Planet of the Apes could come to more than just theaters somewhere down the road.