With Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox complete, the studio is moving forward with a new reboot of the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Maze Runner trilogy director Wes Ball has been brought on to develop and direct a new Planet of the Apes movie for the studio, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This will be the first major 20th Century Fox property to move forward since Disney’s acquisition of the studio was finalized in March.

New director: The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that The Maze Runner trilogy director Wes Ball has been brought on to develop and direct a new Planet of the Apes movie

New director: The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that The Maze Runner trilogy director Wes Ball has been brought on to develop and direct a new Planet of the Apes movie

Reboot or sequel?: This will be the first major 20th Century Fox property to move forward, since Disney's acquisition of the studio was finalized in March, though it isn't clear yet if this is a reboot or continuation in the franchise

Reboot or sequel?: This will be the first major 20th Century Fox property to move forward, since Disney’s acquisition of the studio was finalized in March, though it isn’t clear yet if this is a reboot or continuation in the franchise

It is still not clear if the project is a reboot or continuation in the franchise.

Ball himself reacted to the news in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner on social media on Tuesday.

The filmmaker took to both Twitter and Instagram to share an image of Maurice Evans from the original 1968 Planet Of the Apes movie, smoking a cigarette while still in costume as Dr. Zaius.

The franchise was based on the 1963 novel Planet of the Apes from French author Pierre Boulle, which was adapted into the 1968 movie of the same name, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall.

Heston's look: The franchise was based on the 1963 novel Planet of the Apes from French author Pierre Boulle, which was adapted into the 1968 movie of the same name, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall

Heston’s look: The franchise was based on the 1963 novel Planet of the Apes from French author Pierre Boulle, which was adapted into the 1968 movie of the same name, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall

The story follows an astronaut crew lead by George Taylor (Heston) who lands on a planet where apes have taken over as the dominant species and the much more primitive humans are enslaved by the apes.

McDowall and Kim Hunter play sympathetic apes, Cornelius and Zira, while Evans’ Dr. Zaius served as the primary villain. 

The original movie’s ending – where Taylor encounters the Statue of Liberty in ruins, realizing he’s been on Earth this whole time – is one of the most enduring and iconic moments in cinematic history.

Astronaut: The story follows an astronaut crew lead by George Taylor (Heston) who lands on a planet where apes have taken over as the dominant species and the much more primitive humans are enslaved by the apes

Astronaut: The story follows an astronaut crew lead by George Taylor (Heston) who lands on a planet where apes have taken over as the dominant species and the much more primitive humans are enslaved by the apes

Damn dirty apes: McDowall and Kim Hunter play sympathetic apes, Cornelius and Zira, while Evans' Dr. Zaius served as the primary villain

Damn dirty apes: McDowall and Kim Hunter play sympathetic apes, Cornelius and Zira, while Evans’ Dr. Zaius served as the primary villain

Iconic ending: The original movie's ending - where Taylor encounters the Statue of Liberty in ruins, realizing he's been on Earth this whole time - is one of the most enduring and iconic moments in cinematic history

Iconic ending: The original movie’s ending – where Taylor encounters the Statue of Liberty in ruins, realizing he’s been on Earth this whole time – is one of the most enduring and iconic moments in cinematic history

The film spawned a number of sequels, including 1970’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1971’s Escape From the Planet of the Apes, 1972’s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes.

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The franchise laid dormant for decades until 20th Century Fox revived it in 2001 with a Planet of the Apes starring Mark Wahlberg, with the iconic Charlton Heston portraying Zaius.

While the film was a moderate hit at the box office ($362.2 million worldwide from a $100 million budget), it was not received well by critics (44% on Rotten Tomatoes) and never got a sequel.

Sequels: The film spawned a number of sequels, including 1970's Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1971's Escape From the Planet of the Apes, 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1973's Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Sequels: The film spawned a number of sequels, including 1970’s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1971’s Escape From the Planet of the Apes, 1972’s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes

10 years later, 20th Century Fox revived the franchise again with 2011’s well-received (82% on RT) Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The film earned $481.8 million from a $93 million budget and spawned a new trilogy that was just as successful. 

2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned a 91% on RT plus $710.6 million worldwide from a $170 million budget.

2017’s War For the Planet of the Apes got a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, though it earned slightly less than its predecessor with $490.7 million worldwide from a $150 million budget.

Big hit: 10 years later, 20th Century Fox revived the franchise again with 2011's well-received (82% on RT) Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Big hit: 10 years later, 20th Century Fox revived the franchise again with 2011’s well-received (82% on RT) Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn: 2014's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned a 91% on RT plus $710.6 million worldwide from a $170 million budget

Dawn: 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned a 91% on RT plus $710.6 million worldwide from a $170 million budget

Ball, who got his start in animation and visual effects, made his feature directorial debut with 2014’s The Maze Runner, based on the novels by James Dashner. 

He would go on to round out the trilogy with 2015’s The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and 2018’s The Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

He is currently developing Mouse Guard based on David Petersen’s graphic novel and a new series called The Night Market for Disney Plus.

Director: Ball, who got his start in animation and visual effects, made his feature directorial debut with 2014's The Maze Runner, based on the novels by James Dashner

Director: Ball, who got his start in animation and visual effects, made his feature directorial debut with 2014’s The Maze Runner, based on the novels by James Dashner

 



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