Summer 2024: Disney's big franchise gamble aims to revive "Alien", "Apes", and Deadpool

by Charles Gerian

“Damn you all to Hell!”

Those famous words, shouted by Charlton Heston’s enraged Colonel Taylor at the shocking ending of 1968’s Franklin J. Schaffner film PLANET OF THE APES, were exactly what I shouted in 2018 when the news broke that Disney had purchased 20th Century Fox in a record-shattering multi-billion dollar acquisition.

Now, 6 years removed from the ire, Disney is bringing some of Fox’s biggest franchises back with a bang. The roll-out kicked off with last month’s THE FIRST OMEN, a horror prequel to “The Omen” and will continue with this week’s anticipated release of KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, directed by Wes Ball.

The streak will continue with DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE in July and then August’s release of ALIEN ROMULUS.

Initially, I wanted to hate Disney’s mining of Fox’s franchises. But I can’t live with the anger anymore, not with The Mouse House dangling all these shiny new things in front of me.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is expected to open in the $50-$60 million dollar range domestically, not bad for a series that has been dormant since 2017’s WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Kingdom is also made on a modest (as far as blockbusters go) budget of just over $100 million, so it won’t take too much legwork for the film to turn a nice profit for Disney’s 20th Studios division.

The film stars Owen Teague as a young chimp named Noa who teams with a young human girl named Mae (The Witcher star Freya Allan) to prevent the evil reign of Proximus Caesar, an ambitious and evil ape played by Kevin Durand who seeks to enslave not only humans, but rival ape clans as well.

The film is set 300 years after “WAR” and is believed to incorporate elements of the 1968 original. Director Wes Ball stated the film was inspired by Mel Gibson’s 2006 film APOCALYPTO.

The film also stars William H. Macy and others.

KINGDOM OF THE PLANET OF THE APES will be playing at The Hub in Tonkawa, Cowley Cinema 8, and AMC in Stillwater.

Wes Ball, who is most famous for his work on the Maze Runner trilogy, is about to be a big name director not only for helming the new Apes movie, but because in November it was announced that he would be helming a live-action adaptation of The Legend of Zelda with Nintendo and Sony Pictures.