Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Is a Blast to the Future

20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes reboot films re-introduced the world to the dystopian sci-fi series. Led by Andy Serkis as the first hyperintelligent ape Caesar, the trilogy ended with such a finality you don’t usually get with franchises, and ensured that if more films did happen, they’d have to jump forward in time a good amount.

As it turns out, 20th Century did jump forward in time: the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set 300 years after the ending of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes. Speaking to Empire Magazine, director Wes Ball explained that the time jump both puts distance between this and the original reboot and allows for Caesar’s legacy to have been partially lost in the generations since. For this new film, our point of view character is Noa (played by Owen Teague), who has no clue whatsoever who Caesar is. And as he ends up trying to establish a better future for apes and humans alike, his story will involve “a discovery of that legacy and its various interpretations,” explained Ball. “Noa has to make sense of what it all means.”

What remains of Caesar’s message in the present day has been twisted by the likes of Proximus, the crown-wearing monkey seen at the end of Kingdom’s trailer. Played by Kevin Durand, Proximus runs an ape clan on the coast and took Caesar’s name as his own because of how much weight it carries. That name-jacking, said Durand, was a “self-proclamation” done by Proximus as a means to further his people’s evolution. “Like in every morsel of human history,” he noted, “there’s always some type of tyrant who comes along and scares everyone into believing them.”

Durand called the two ape leads “the influence and the evolution” of Caesar, and the plan is to explore that across its own (presumably Noa-led) trilogy. Ball was upfront in saying as such, talking about the “grand idea” of future movies and where things can go. In referring to the first three movies “the end of something,” he and the studio are aiming for this to be a new beginning. “We thought, ‘From the ashes of those previous movies, we’re gonna grow a new tree to climb.’”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters on May 24, 2024.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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