‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’: A lookback to an enduring franchise

Wes Ball’s entry to the ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise is scheduled to hit theaters in May.


A FRANCHISE THAT HAD MOVIEGOERS weeping for Caesar, rooting for Koba on his quest for revenge, and debating over whose side to cheer for, the Planet of the Apes trilogy made a name for itself for its rich and seamless world-building.

Masterfully tying big themes of ethical scientific experimentation, human extinction, and end-of-life redemption, the films Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), beautifully brought the audiences on a journey that did not skimp on top-notch action, thought-provoking dialogues, and a visual feast.

As we welcome Wes Ball’s new film Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes which features a new timeline where apes are the dominant species, and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows, let’s unpack the trilogy’s rich lore and history with some of its highlights:

A lab, Caesar’s birth

The story of Caesar and the franchise traces back to Gen-Sys, a biotech lab researching cures for Alzheimer’s and other diseases. A violent incident involving Bright Eyes, Caesar’s mother, led to the project’s closure, revealing her maternal instinct to protect her newborn son.

Raised by research scientist Will Rodman and his father Charles, Caesar’s peaceful life took a turn when he was sent to an animal control facility, prompting him to organize a rebellion to liberate apes from human control and forge their destiny.

A virus, human extinction

One of the drugs being developed in the laboratory, ALZ-113, prematurely approved for human trials, turned out to have adverse and deadly effects on humans. This led to the Simian flu pandemic, which almost wiped out the entire human race and signaled the beginning of the war for survival between apes and humans.

A home, Caesar’s last breath

Caesar’s reign concluded in War for the Planet of the Apes, with him successfully finding a safe place at last – a new home – for the apes to live in peacefully. With his loyal friend Maurice by his side, Caesar finally finished his long and arduous quest of finding a home for himself and his fellow apes.

Apes together strong

Unity stands as a central theme in the Planet of the Apes saga, showcasing the journey of Caesar and his fellow apes as they strive for a peaceful existence. Among them, Maurice emerged as Caesar’s trusted advisor and loyal companion, providing wisdom and support until the very end. Koba, once Caesar’s staunch comrade, underwent a tragic transformation, scarred by a lifetime of human cruelty. Rocket, initially a foe, evolved into one of Caesar’s closest allies, standing by his side through times of rebellion and war.

Meanwhile, Cornelius, Caesar’s youngest son, embodied innocence and hope for the future of the apes. What happened to him after his father’s death? What significance would he bring to the new timeline of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes?

Enter the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

The new movie, set several generations after Caesar’s reign, features Proximus Caesar as the apes’ new leader.

But something is amiss.

Instead of educating his fellow apes and preaching peace and unity, there is distraught and madness, there is war and violence that the apes before their time fought hard to avoid. What has happened since Caesar’s death? What have the apes become?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes boasts a stellar cast that includes Owen Teague (It), Freya Allan (The Witcher), Kevin Durand (Locke & Key), Peter Macon (Shameless), and William H. Macy (Fargo). 

The epic action-adventure spectacle premieres on May 8, 2024, in Philippine cinemas nationwide. Watch the trailer below.

Where to watch Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
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