At the end of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis’ Caesar, the main protagonist we followed along with since the Planet of the Apes franchise rebooted with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, succumbed to his fatal wounds after taking his people to their new home. This chapter of the franchise could have easily ended right then and there, but that’s not what’s happening, as Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will continue the narrative left off by War. With the upcoming movie almost done shooting, Kingdom’s writers have shared how it will address the late Caesar, among other tidbits of information.
Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, who wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, reprised their scripting duties for Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which is just three weeks away from completing principal photography. Silver shared with Filmspeak that after War for the Planet of the Apes, which was written by director Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback, killed off Caesar, she and Jaffa had a brief “period of mourning” for the character, but it wasn’t long until they got to work on the next chapter of this saga, with Jaffa insisting there’s “just a lot of story left to tell.” As for how Kingdom will address Caesar, Jaffa said the following:
All we know so far about Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ plot is that it takes place many years after the events of War for the Planet of the Apes, but whether we’re talking a decade, several decades or even centuries hasn’t been cleared up. However much time has specifically passed, Caesar’s influence will evidently still be felt among the apes walking the Earth, with them being the dominant species now and humans having almost been eradicated by the virus that boosted the apes’ intelligence. But that then poses a question: is Caesar’s legacy honored in a way that he would have approved of, or has it been twisted?
Rick Jaffa also mentioned that Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will not be jumping far enough forward to reach the original Planet of the Apes movie’s time period, explaining why this was off the table thusly:
Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa were joined in hashing out the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes script by Josh Friedman, who previously collaborated with the duo on the Avatar sequels. For now, Kingdom is the only upcoming Planet of the Apes movie officially on the docket, but Rick Jaffa added that the story establishes “fertile ground” for something to “really grow.” In other words, don’t be surprised if Kingdom ends up the first installment of a new trilogy.
Directed by Wes Ball (who was hired in December 2019), Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes comes to theaters on May 24, 2024, and its cast includes Owen Teague as the main protagonist, Freya Allan, Peter Macon and William H. Macy. While we wait for more news about its progress, catch up to speed on the movies coming out this year with our 2023 release schedule, or look at how we’ve ranked the released Apes movies.