A new Planet of the Apes movie is in development at 20th Century. The Disney-owned studio reportedly cast Owen Teague to play the lead primate in the film, Deadline reported on Aug. 22. Teague had a breakout role as one of the bullies in Warner Bros.‘ adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
The new movie will be directed by Wes Ball, the visual effects artist who helmed the Maze Runner trilogy. Ball was hired in 2019 and he has been working on the script and with VFX teams ever since. The story of the new movie is unknown.
Earlier this summer, ball shared a script that impressed executives, who agreed to start the casting process. Ball started testing actors for lead roles before the Fourth of July. Although the search for human leads is still ongoing, Teague’s tests for the main primate character were so impressive that he got the job.
After Disney completed its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, executives immediately considered Planet of the Apes a franchise that needed to continue. The series is over 50 years old and was inspired by the Pierre Boulle novel. In the 1968 film, Charlton Heston plays an astronaut who lands on a planet ruled by an advanced ape civilization with primitive humans. The film ends with a famous twist revealing that Heston’s character was on a future Earth ravaged by nuclear war the entire time.
The film was a massive success, leading to four sequels between 1970 and 1973. There was also a live-action TV series in 1974 and an animated series that aired in 1975 and 1976. Tim Burton directed a 2001 remake starring Mark Wahlberg that was a critical disappointment. In 2011, Fox rebooted the franchise with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the first of three prequel films. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes followed in 2014 and War for the Planet of the Apes was released in 2017. All three films were commercial and critical hits.
Teague starred in It and It Chapter Two as Patrick Hockstetter, one of the bullies who terrorized the losers club. He starred in another King adaptation, Paramount+’s The Stand. His other credits include Mrs. Fletcher, I See You, Bloodline, Mercy Street, Black Mirror, and an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. He will next be seen in Netflix’s Reptile and A24’s Ben & Don. The Julia Louis-Dreyfus starring movie centers on a New York novelist who learns her loving husband doesn’t like anything she’s written. Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) wrote the script and will direct it.