Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes could tell a very unique story that brings every Planet of the Apes movie into one continuity.
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes could bring the entire Planet of the Apes franchise into a single continuity. The Planet of the Apes series first began with the eponymous 1968 movie, following astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) as he lands on a world ruled by talking apes, with Taylor eventually discovering that it is actually Earth centuries after a nuclear war. Planet of the Apes would spawn four sequels, with the franchise later being rebooted with Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes in 2001, and again in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which would launch the modern Planet of the Apes movies.
The upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set to be the next chapter of the franchise, picking up from Matt Reeves’s War for the Planet of the Apes. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ cast will be led by Cornelius (Owen Teague) as he becomes the new ape protagonist of the series, following his father Caesar (Andy Serkis) in the preceding three movies. While Kingdom might seem to be a modern re-interpretation of the Planet of the Apes series like its three predecessors, it actually is in a unique position to use its story to bring every Planet of the Apes movie under a single storytelling umbrella.
Kingdom Is The Best Chance To Join All Planet Of The Apes Movies
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set to take place sometime after the ending of War for the Planet of the Apes, and the status quo left by the latter has a fair degree of commonality with the original Planet of the Apes continuity. Most notably, the legendary status of Caesar as the savior of the apes leads to the newly Ape-ruled Earth in both continuities. Of course, it is not a perfect match, and in fact, the two versions of events diverge notably after Caesar’s death in War for the Planet of the Apes.
By contrast, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Battle for the Planet of the Apes show Caesar (Roddy McDowell) as an active leader of the ape culture and surviving humans well after the fall of civilization. Even then, the Planet of the Apes franchise is operating on a whole new timeline of man and ape co-existing, as opposed to the ape culture’s rise and mankind’s regression into mute savagery in the original Planet of the Apes. Despite this, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has multiple tools available to it to tie the Apes movies new and old together.
How Kingdom Can Explain The Reboot Trilogy’s Canon Changes
The Planet of the Apes franchise may be comprised of a jumbled mess of alternate timelines that make the Terminator franchise look almost perfectly linear, but this could actually be the very means by which Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes unites the series. Kingdom could actively incorporate the original Apes films into the story as two previous iterations of the timeline, with Rise of the Planet of the Apes marking the beginning of the third and present one. By having Kingdom reveal that an ape or human from the future has traveled back in time again, Rise of the Planet of the Apes could effectively be retconned as a modern-day prequel to every preceding Apes movie.
Alternatively, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes could also take a more philosophical route to bring the original Apes movies into the fold by having them represent a kind of legendary or fictionalized retelling of the events of the modern Apes movies. History, as they say, is written by the winners, which the apes certainly have become by the end of War for the Planet of the Apes. Meanwhile, humanity seems doomed to have little say in recounting the history of the apocalypse with humans becoming mute. This could set up the original Planet of the Apes movies as a form of ape folklore, painting themselves and Caesar in the best light and casting man as the villains of the story.
Bringing The Planet Of The Apes Movies Into One Timeline Makes Sense
With the Planet of the Apes franchise so founded upon alternate timelines, the modern Apes movies are the rare example of a reboot that does not need to ignore what preceded it. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes actively creates connective tissue among all Apes movies not only actively plays upon the different timelines of the franchise in new ways, but it would also be the perfect twist to throw into the mix. Planet of the Apes would deliver one of the most shocking twist endings in history, and it is a twist the Apes franchise has yet to top.
That, of course, has not stopped the Apes movies from trying, particularly in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes reboot. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘s story could actually succeed in the endeavor by pulling back the curtain on a loop of alternate Apes movie timelines going all the way back to the original. Few twist endings have ever been over 50 years in the making and involved a reboot unveiling itself to have been a stealth prequel all along, and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes could become a huge trendsetter in pulling such a surprise rabbit out of its hat.