Many moviegoers and critics alike were impressed when Rise of the Planet of the Apes managed to breathe new life into a franchise that was already more than 40 years old. The film infused a humanity in its simian characters, thanks largely to a standout motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis.
Last year's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remarkably managed to take the series even further; under Matt Reeves' direction, the film earned stellar reviews and more than $700 million at the worldwide box office, easily becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise. We've known for a while that Reeves would return for the sequel, but now fans have a new release date for the film.
Fox has announced that the next entry in the Planet of the Apes franchise will arrive in theaters on July 14, 2017. With this news, Apes has been pushed back a full year from its previously announced July 2016 release. The film is now taking the date the studio once had designated for The Fantastic Four 2, which will now hit theaters on June 2, 2017.
While the news that the sequel to one of summer 2014's very best blockbusters may be frustrating for fans, it could be argued that Fox is choosing to give Reeves and his team ample time to develop the absolute best film possible. After all, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dramatically upped the stakes for both Caesar (Serkis) and the burgeoning conflict between apes and humanity. We've already voiced our thoughts on how the third entry in this version of the franchise can build upon its predecessor.
Reeves has said that the next film will see Caesar ascend to become a mythical figure in ape history; and by the sound of it, the franchise has plenty of room for growth beyond strictly a trilogy about how the ape/human conflict began.
This rebooted franchise (with an established desire not to essentially remake the original 1968 film) will have to be careful about how far it pushes its story with each installment, especially since Dawn so brilliantly established that perhaps a more intellectual, slow-burn approach best suits the material. Here's hoping that the extra time between films gives Reeves and his creative team the opportunity to really crack a great story for the new Apes adventure.
Are you excited about the next Planet of the Apes film, and do you think Fox made the right move in pushing back its release? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.
The untitled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel will hit theaters on July 14, 2017. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest updates.