Fans Say ‘Planet of the Apes’ Reboot Will Be ‘Ruined’ Without Continuation of Andy Serkis’ Caesar

It’s official. 20th Century Studios brought on The Maze Runner director, Wes Ball, to create a new Planet of the Apes. The project marks one of the first Fox titles to get the re-boot makeover since Disney’s acquisition. The previous trilogy iteration premiered to considerable success. Still, the franchise thinks it’s time for a do-over — not a continuation.

Considering the fanbase that The Batman and Venom director, Matt Reeves’, version garnered, this news hasn’t been well-received. Many demand more of lead Ape, Caesar, and the mastermind behind him, Andy Serkis. Here’s what we know.

Wes Ball to direct a reboot of ‘Planet of the Apes’

Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award poses in the Winners Room during the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Director, Wes Ball, is no newbie to the entertainment business. The veteran had major success with works like The Maze Runner trilogy, with directing, producing, and writing credits for many other projects.

However, when it comes to experience with the Planet of the Apes franchise, Ball is very green. The most recent story of Caesar and the Apes included three distinct films, though Reeves only directed the latter two: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes.

Who directed ‘Rise for Planet of the Apes’?

Rupert Wyatt directed the first in the series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes before handing the reigns to Reeves due to creative differences and timing.

“I had a take on the sequel which didn’t marry with the Studio’s,” he previously told What Culture. Regardless, I was hired to direct Rise of the Planet of the Apes against all odds, and I was given that opportunity by a studio and producers who were prepared to take a chance on me. For that, I’m very grateful.”

Wyatt later told Collider he enjoyed what Reeves did with the material.

“I thought it was beautifully directed; an incredibly well-made film.  It’s hard, you know, because I very much wanted to do the sequel.  I was very passionate about doing the sequel and other films.  I love that franchise and I’m thrilled in a way for Matt and what he achieved with that because he achieved something I probably couldn’t have because he did something different,” he said.

He continued: “I just had a very different take and a very different idea of what the movie was going to be, so it’s always going to be colored by that.”

Andy Serkis played Caesar in previous ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy

Actor, Andy Serkis, has taken his roles to the next level. He helped catapult The Lord of the Rings trilogy with his interpretation of Gollum and became synonymous with transformation through CGI.

Serkis voiced Baloo in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. He tormented Avengers in The Age of Ultron and Black Panther as Ulysses Klaue. He terrified as Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. And he’s the man behind bringing Planet of the Apes lead, Caesar, to the forefront.

The London, England actor is the go-to actor hired for “performance capture roles, comprising motion capture acting, animation, and voice work for computer-generated characters,” according to IMDb.

The original 1968 Planet of the Apes filmbased on a novel by French writer Pierre Boulle and starred Charlton Heston. It told the story of an astronaut who landed on a planet with an advanced ape civilization who reigned over humans. The twist came when Heston’s character learned he was on post-apocalyptic Earth the whole time.

Thus began the endless string of sequels and even a ’70s TV series. Tim Burton took a chance in 2001 but his movie version, starring Mark Wahlberg, didn’t quite hit the mark critically or commercially.

The Planet of the Apes trilogy, which began in 2011, told the origin story of how the Apes rose into power. That story began with Serkis’ primate, Caesar. Serkis is universally praised for bringing life-like qualities to his roles. With the Ape movies, he did it in a way that had never been before which is likely why they found success.

Fans want Serkis to return, fear a reboot will mar ‘Batman’ director, Matt Reeves’ prior creation

With news of Ball taking over the franchise, many worry the next iteration will erase all that Wyatt and Reeves created. Ball recently took to Twitter to ease the minds of die-hard fans who might doubt a re-boot can work.

“I’ll say this about Apes…I grew up on the original and absolutely love the previous trilogy. I would only do this if I felt I could offer something special while still honoring what’s come before. We have something that’s shaping up to be an awesome chapter to this franchise,” he said.

The reactions were swift, with a hard line dividing fans in half. Some applauded Ball for taking Apes on. Others say it can’t be done without ruining the previous work of Reeves, Wyatt, and Serkis.

“SEQUELS, dude – NOT another reboot. Good grief,” this fan said. “Yikes. Without Matt Reeves & Andy Serkis, I don’t want it,” another added. “I was satisfied with the three films that we got. I enjoyed the hell out of them and loved the trilogy. We don’t need more,” this fan said.

This fan pointed out the emotional confusion over the news is real. “I have mix feelings about this decision. The #PlanetOfTheApes Reboot trilogy are my favorite films this past decade. Rupert Wyatt, Matt Reeves, Andy Serkis, etc. done amazing work on them.”

And, perhaps this final tweet is the most universal feeling for this re-boot because Caesar is a national treasure who died protecting his brood.


There you have it. Rise, Dawn, and War have come and gone. The only thing left to do is wait and see what Ball does with the source material and hope all that Serkis did for the franchise, whether he’s involved or not, is honored.