Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

The highly anticipated next chapter in the epic sci-fi franchise, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, arrives in theaters on May 10, 2024. Set many years after the conclusion of 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes, Kingdom follows a young ape who questions his kind’s teachings about the rise of ape civilization and humanity’s downfall. In doing so, he makes choices that will sculpt a future where apes and humans may be able to coexist harmoniously.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, image credit google

New Plot Details Revealed

Director Wes Ball (the Maze Runner series, Mouse Guard) helms Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes from a script co-written by Ball and Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, Avatar 2). Though full plot details remain under wraps for now, initial synopses reveal Kingdom picks up over a decade after the drama of War which ended with Caesar’s death and the desolation of human military forces thanks to the intelligent apes.

In this new era decades into the apocalypse first triggered in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), apes have now established advanced infrastructure and thriving communities of their own first set in motion by Caesar. Backs turned against the wasted vestiges of human civilization, the apes of the Kingdom have carried on the cultural traditions passed down from revered leaders like Caesar which are centered around tenets of strength, family, and distrust of humanity.

However, when one curious young ape named Cornelius (played by newcomer Ansel Elgort) stumbles upon archival texts and footage detailing life before the worldwide Simian Flu plague, he discovers a fuller history of early ape rebellions against mankind and the cost of conflict on both sides. Questioning the core beliefs of contemporary ape society for the first time, Cornelius goes on an eye-opening voyage of discovery which just may allow future harmony between the warring species.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, image credit google

Major Talent Returns

While plot specifics remain tightly under wraps, we know several fan-favorite actors from the previous trilogy are returning.

Priest and orangutan advisor Maurice once again played with heartfelt poignancy by Karin Konoval is confirmed to have a central role impacting Cornelius’ story. The wise elder ape council member Rocket who appeared in Dawn, War, and briefly in Rise also returns once more portrayed by Terry Notary.

There are also rumors Cornelius encounters the mute human survivor we met in War known only as Nova (Amiah Miller), though her involvement has yet to be officially verified. Regardless, producers promise plenty of connective tissue for trilogy devotees while expanding the Apes universe into a new era.

Behind the Scenes

Helping bring director Wes Ball’s ambitious vision for Kingdom to life is an accomplished team of series vets behind the scenes. John Paesano (Spider-Man: Far From Home) provides a thunderous, emotive score, building on his incredible work since Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Oscar-winning visual effects masters Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon also both return, having lent their expertise on every entry since Rise. Their industry-leading Weta FX house is pushing boundaries once again to incorporate more performance capture sequences along with enhancing digital simulation of primate movement and behaviors.

On the production side, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes sees director Wes Ball reunite with gifted collaborators from the Maze Runner movies. Oscar nominee Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (The Maze Runner, Gotham) produces alongside Eric Newman and Ashley Edward Miller. Meanwhile, screenwriter Josh Friedman shares co-writing credit with Ball having contributed to the screenplays for War of the Worlds (2005), Avatar 2, and Terminator: Dark Fate previously.

Final Thoughts

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes charging onto screens May 10 2024 kicks off the summer blockbuster season with a long-awaited continuation of one of science fiction’s most beloved sagas. Under the stewardship of director, Wes Ball guiding incredible special effects artisans, a talented cast of returning actors, and gifted writers building on the enduring franchise legacy, Kingdom has all the tools to deliver an epic next chapter rising above expectations.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes Reviews | Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

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