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Wes Ball Drops Out Of Paramount’s ‘Harbinger’, Goes All In On Disney’s ‘Planet Of The Apes’

While just last week we shared some exciting plot details about the next installment of 20th Century’s Planet of the Apes franchise, it now appears that production is quickly ramping up.

According to Deadline‘s Justin Kroll, director Wes Ball has dropped out of another project over at Paramount titled Harbinger to focus all of his energy on finishing the next Apes film. Paul Downs Colaizzo (Brittany Runs A Marathon) will reportedly take over for Ball.

Kroll adds that execs at both Disney and 20th Century were actually pretty happy with the last draft of the film turned in last month too. The hope is that Ball’s film will kick off an entirely new trilogy that he can also continue to helm.

The news also comes less than a week after it was announced that Marvel had acquired the rights to publish new Planet of the Apes comic books. You don’t have to be working in the industry to see that Disney has some really big plans for the series in the coming years.

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Now, it’s been more than two years since Wes Ball (The Maze Runner trilogy) was announced as the director of the project, a whole month before the Fox-Disney merger was complete. While Ball is still attached, a recent interview also offered fans when filming is set to begin.

The original Planet of the Apes filmbased on a novel by French writer Pierre Boulle and starring Charlton Heston, centers on an astronaut who lands on a planet and discovers an advanced ape civilization ruling over primitive humans. In the final, infamous twist, he learns he is actually on Earth, which had suffered an apocalyptic nuclear war.

The movie was a commercial and critical hit upon its 1968 release and spawned numerous sequels and a TV series throughout the 1970s. In 2001, Tim Burton remade the movie as an action-adventure that failed to excite audiences. However, Fox found success again with a reboot trilogy that began with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an origin story chronicling how the primates took over that featured envelope-pushing motion-capture technology and a stirring performance by Serkis as the leader of the apes, Caesar.

SOURCE: Deadline