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Exclusive: 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' Edit Bay Visit with Director Wes Ball

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes exclusive look

A new KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES trailer dropped during the Super Bowl game Sunday, and the new preview revealed the plot and the main characters. CineMovie visited director Wes Ball in the edit bay last week where we got a sneak peek at the work-in-progress, and how Andy Serkis helped the actors find their inner ape.

Wes Ball and his post-production crew are currently hard at work, editing and adding the special effects. Ball revealed there's no music yet but what we saw is music to our ears and we can't wait to see the finished product. Here's what we learned from our visit with the filmmaker.  

Ball is no stranger to post-apocalyptic worlds having directed the MAZE RUNNER trilogy. Initially, the filmmaker resisted the idea of following up on the successful trilogy directed by Rupert Wyatt (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and his friend Matt Reeves (THE BATMAN).

“I said, ‘no thanks.’ Why do it? The trilogy was fine. It is a perfect little thing. Why do it? I’m not interested in doing part four. It’s not really fun. It’s not very interesting.”

A week later, a light bulb went off in his head on how to approach a fourth installment.

“What we do is make a big leap. It’s a big, bold choice and we do a giant cut after Caesar has died but we’re not going to abandon what has come before us. We’re still in the world, in that universe. ”

 

TIME FRAME
Ball showed us the first scenes from the opening. “Many generations later” is the first thing we see on the screen. Caesar’s legacy lives on but the characters are all new since the story takes place hundreds of years after the events of the last trilogy and a few steps closer to the original PLANET OF THE APES (1968).

"We’ve got to start making that march towards the 68 version where they’re sitting around having dinner parties."

He also revealed that die-hard fans of the original movie will find “tons of Easter Eggs” which include sounds taken directly from the iconic movie.

At this point, apes have not mastered the spoken language we see in the original, and sign language is still part of their DNA. Their “cadence” has evolved but not to the level of the 1968 film.

 

CHARACTERS
Noa (played by Owen Teague) and his three friends are the focus of the new movie. Ball describes Noa as a young ape who goes on an adventure and learns about the past and Caesar, a Jesus-like figure to his kind.

Nova is the human in the trailer. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the little girl in WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES was named after the car logo. From then on, all humans are referred to by the same name.  In Noa’s community, they are referred to as “Echo.”

Another beloved character from the recent trilogy was Maurice, the orangutan. Raka in Ball's film is a character in the spirit of Maurice who educates Noa about Caesar and the human world.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes exclusive look


VILLAIN
Proximus is the leader of a different tribe. He hunts humans. Footage shown at the exclusive event reveals a beach setting much like the one in the 1968 version but a beached cargo ship wreckage is where Promixus reigns.

Ball says Proximus also reveres Caesar’s legacy but distorts his teachings for his purposes against the remaining human race. Kevin Durand plays the domineering figure. 


SETTING
The action takes place on the West Coast, primarily in Los Angeles although the setting is unrecognizable. In the clip shown, dilapidated skyscrapers are surrounded by lush surroundings, unlike most apocalyptic films. Noa and his three friends climb these old buildings as if they were trees with waterfalls in the background in one of their adventures to find an Eagle egg, a rite of passage for the young apes.

Ball describes the look as a “reset.” What would the world look like after humans no longer poison the climate? Ball says he’s always been fascinated with this romantic idea of the Earth resetting itself to its former glory as a “lush and beautiful world.”

However, when we get to Proximus’ village, audiences will be reminded about the ghosts of the past.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes exclusive look4


ANDY SERKIS
Andy Serkis’ motion-capture performance in the previous trilogy changed the game. Serkis’ Caesar is one of the most beloved and memorable characters from the franchise. Ball showed the script and concept art to Serkis, and involved him as a consultant to the actors.

Ball says his cast had no experience with motion-capture performances so Andy gave them a sort of pep talk before filming.

“You can’t pretend to be an ape, you have to be an ape.”

The actors took Serkis’ advice, and Ball joked that when he walked into a session, the actors stayed in character and freaked him out.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens in movie theaters globally on May 10, 2024, and will be available in IMAX®, Dolby Cinema®, 4DX, and premium screens everywhere.

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