KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Director Reveals New Story Details And Why Proximus Caesar Isn’t A Villain

Since that first trailer was released, we’ve seen Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes go from being an “unnecessary” sequel in the eyes of many fans to one of next year’s most highly anticipated movies.

It was recently confirmed that the action will be set 300 years after the events of Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes, taking us closer to the world we first explored in 1968’s Planet of the Apes. So, just how post-apocalyptic is the franchise’s new setting? 

“It’s many, many generations later,” director Wes Ball tells Entertainment Weekly (via SFFGazette.com). “In the time between the previous movie and this movie, this Dark Ages has happened where things have been lost, and in our movie we’re going to rediscover them on this grand adventure.”

A chimpanzee called Noa will be Kingdom‘s lead and the filmmaker says he’s “on that threshold of becoming who he is going to be as an ape. It’s about him falling into these extraordinary circumstances that lead him into a world that he doesn’t know.”

The expectation was that one of Caesar’s descendants would centre stage in this movie, though it appears “Caesar” has instead become something of a ceremonial title handed down through the ages. The movie’s big bad is going to be another chimpanzee, named Proximus Caesar, though he may not be a straightforward antagonist.

“The interesting thing about Proximus is that, with some help, he’s rediscovered electricity,” Ball teases. “To apes that forgot about all these things, that’s like a magic power. So they’re experimenting with it. I don’t even think you can call him a villain. I would call him an adversary. You understand him, you can relate to him in a way. It’s an interesting character who isn’t just a mustache-twirling cutout.”

As for where the franchise goes from here, the director is moving on to The Legend of Zelda but believes Kingdom sets the stage for a new trilogy. “We certainly think there is a lot more story to be told, not just in the Planet of the Apes legacy of it all, but in terms of these characters we’ve created and the arcs that we’re thinking about. So, yeah, we’ve got good ideas for what would come next.”

We’re certainly intrigued by where this next wave of movies set in the world of Planet of the Apes is taking us and how, if indeed it does, get us to where we found Earth in the original movie. If the franchise embraces time travel, then things could get really bonkers; we’d bet on that being saved for the next trilogy, however! 

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, a new entry in 20th Century Studios’ global, epic franchise, opens exclusively in theaters on May 24, 2024.