Upon hearing how Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the beginning of a new saga, I was pretty excited. The thoughts I have written here are just my ideas alone. I’m pretty certain the screenwriters at 20th Century Studios have their ideas that they have already implemented. But for the fun of it, I thought it would be cool for me to brainstorm how I would envisioned the new saga. So let’s brainstorm.

1. How Kingdom Needs To Give Us A Reason For Its Existence 

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In 2017, after War for the Planet of the Apes ended the ‘Caesar Trilogy’, we had a pretty good idea of where it will end up. The apes won the war and their freedom (again—in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the third movie), and they began to rebuild and flourish once again. All the while humanity succumbs to the new mutation of the Simian Flu virus introduced at the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and expanded upon in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its subsequent tie-in media (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestormthe Boom Comics, and MotherBoard short films). Somewhere along the way, some apes didn’t like the idea of humans integrating into ape society because of how awful they were and decided to write the Sacred Scrolls. We get the established world of the ’68’ original movie just on that front. 

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Now that Kingdom has been made and is on its way to release, the film needs to explain itself. One explanation that’s already been given is that it is set 300 years after the events of the ‘Caesar Trilogy’. This is a good reason for the studio to distance itself from the previous trilogy, even though it is still set in the same reboot universe starting with RiseBut…the movie still has to make a case despite being set three centuries from the events of War for the Planet of the Apes. For instance, how did ape society progress? What happened to Caesar’s son Cornelius? How did ‘Proximus Caesar’ come to ascendance? How did apes hunting and demonizing humans become the law?

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Why is there another Nova/Mae portrayed by Freya Allan, even though we had a mute blonde girl named Nova portrayed by Amiah Miller in War? Is this new Nova somehow a descendant of the kid Nova from the previous movie, even though the Simian Flu virus robbed humanity of their speech, intelligence, and maybe their ability to procreate? Are the original roles of George Taylor the astronaut and Nova the mute human swapped and it’s the other way around? I don’t know.

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Speaking of Nova being the only apex-status human walking around, are there any apex-human societies in what’s left of America and the rest of the world that somehow narrowly avoided becoming dumb and primitive 300 years later on the ape-dominated Earth? Are they hiding and spying on their simian adversaries, waiting for the day they resurface to take back control of the planet? I don’t have that answer either.

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These are questions that hopefully get answered and do not receive the Prometheus/Alien: Covenant treatment. Questions that do not get answered but are expounded on by more questions will be a total headache. But at the end of the day, it might be a good movie despite all the shortcomings and whatnot.

2. If Kingdom Is Successful, Here’s An Idea For The Sequel: Do A ‘Godfather: Part II/Cloud Atlas ’-esque Sequel That Explains Everything. 

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Now I can explain this here. And bear with me because this will be rather long for my point to make sense of. 

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My idea for a hypothetical sequel to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes would be to go for The Godfather: Part II route mixed with the Wachowski’s 2012 film Cloud Atlas. Why did I suggest this, you’re probably asking? Well, The Godfather: Part II (1974) is my personal favorite of The Godfather trilogy. And yes…I’ve watched all three of them considering that Part III wasn’t as good, even though there’s a new cut called The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.  And having not seen Cloud Atlas, it would make sense to tell a centuries-spanning story of Man’s dominion on Earth/ape uprising leading toward mankind’s downfall between the events of Rise and Dawn and the events between War and Kingdom while continuing the story that began in this year’s movie which will be possibly be about the ape society following in Man’s footsteps in the cycle of toxic domination. 

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Part II was touted as a sequel and prequel to the 1972 original film. The prequel B story follows Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) as he escapes the clutches of a local Don in Italy to New York and starts a new life. All the while, he encounters Don Fanucci who is not quite as respectable as Vito will be in the original. He starts committing crimes for the sake of providing for his growing family and later gets his revenge on Don Cicci in Italy for the death of his direct family. 

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The sequel A story follows Vito’s son and heir, Michael (Al Pacino) from 1958 to 1959 as the new Don of the Corleone crime family trying to hold things together. However, everything he does is the opposite of what his dad does. He becomes paranoid of his family members; in particular his brother Fredo. He’s in trouble with the law with regards to killing police captain Solozzo and arranging the deaths of the Five Families of New York. He loses his wife Kay not being able to tolerate the mafia lifestyle anymore, and he’s manipulated by business partner Hyman Roth. Lastly, he loses his soul because of how good of a mafia boss he has become and pretty much the crime family starts collapsing. The film is about a rise and fall.

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Now with Planet of the Apes, that approach has been done already in book form. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm by Greg Keyes (2014) chronicles the rise of Caesar’s ape civilization with humanity scrambling to fight the beginnings of the Simian Flu Pandemic and trying to hunt down the apes. Adding to this story is the tragic backstory of the bonobo ape villain in Dawn; Koba, and how his hatred for humans truly began. 

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Death of the Planet of the Apes by Andrew E.C. Gaska (2018) is essentially Beneath the Planet of the Apes, but better if anyone did not like the sequel and continuing certain character plotlines from Gaska’s previous book, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes . Think of it as an Extended Edition of sorts that took inspiration from The Godfather: Part IIImage via IMDb/20th Century Studios

It shows flashbacks to Taylor’s time in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a fighter pilot, The Korean War (the first of many proxy wars in The Cold War), his time as a test pilot for the fictitious ANSA (American National Space Administration)—the military arm as opposed to NASA—the civilian organization of space administration, and to a certain extend how mankind has perpetuated chaos everywhere through a fictional Secession War, the ongoing Cold War/Space Race, the Civil Rights Movements, and ANSA’s secret development of world-ending nuclear weapons in the slightly altered history of the late 20th century. 

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The present-day ape-dominated world storyline follows the events of the original and re-tells the events of Beneath, adding new scenes with Taylor and the rest of the ape characters that were not seen in the film and also a sequel to Gaska’s previous novel Conspiracy on the Planet of the Apes. While ANSA astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) with Nova (Linda Hamilton) in tow on a rescue mission to find Taylor, gorilla general Ursus is preparing to wage war on the Alpha-Omega mutant humans worshipping the nuclear bomb that was named after in the Forbidden Zone. Scientists newlyweds Cornelius and Zira become involved with an Anti-Vivisection movement to end the cruel treatment of mute humans and come to terms with the fact that humans were at one point the dominant species on the planet Earth with the orangutan and gorilla officials trying to keep this history a secret. It is also a tale of the distant possibility of an intelligent species’ road toward self-destruction; be it ape or man; is born from prejudice, greed, ignorance, denial of facts, toxic religious control, and the lust for violence.

3. To Add Everything Up, How Does It All Work?

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Right…how can we apply everything I’ve said to the hypothetical sequel to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes which I will title it ‘Dominion of the Planet of the Apes’. Well…if the writing is spot-on and makes sense, then the story would be an epic sci-fi masterpiece. Craft a story following the Sequel A plot set after Kingdom while fleshing out the Prequel B plot fleshing out the events between Rise and Dawn and in between War and Kingdom. A Godfather: Part II-esque sequel with a little dash of the Wachowskis’ 2012 film Cloud Atlas (a movie nobody thought of until I did).

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Think about it: The B story plot follows the plots of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm (because many people will not bother to read the book, so why not just tell it on the big screen?) while intersecting with other ape/human characters who may have direct ancestry to the current protagonists of Kingdom along with other events only seen in literary media like David F. Walker’s Planet of the Apes: Fall of Man comic that just came out. 

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The A Story sequel plot follows the events of Kingdom maybe a year or two finding the apes in a civil war of ideology.  All the while, both factions will encounter a militarized group of human survivor cult known as the Exercitus Vitri aka the ‘Army of Man’ as seen in Planet of the Apes: Fall of Man. They would be a similar foil counterpart to the original series ‘Alpha-Omega human mutant cult (they also were seen and read in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm novel as a violent cult firebombing quarantines to exterminate the infected and the militarized extremist sect. of the U.S. Army led by The Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes.). That way, the stakes are higher because not only a war of ideology will determine the future of ape society, but the threat of the resurgent apex-man who has been in hiding and avoided the mutated virus for centuries, is looking to reclaim their dominance with a vengeance. And somehow the end credits will show the Icarus spaceship and its occupants whom we are all familiar with in the original and the 1970 sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes, crashing down to Earth, unaware that the planet thought to be an alien world is the ape-dominated Earth leading into a potential remake of both the original and the 1970 sequel for which I would title it ‘Cataclysm of the Planet of the Apes’.

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That sounds like a brilliant idea for what might be the best Planet of the Apes movie ever made. It would be a cautionary tale that no matter which intelligent species rules the planet Earth, the cycle of racism, denial of facts, arrogance, ignorance, toxic religious dogma, subjugation, and violence is perpetuated toward the path of self-destruction of a species, and possibly the entire planet as witnessed in Beneath the Planet of the Apes/Death of the Planet of the Apes

4. The Simian Flu Virus, The Sacred Scrolls, and The Forbidden Zone Are Very Important In The Reboot Universe

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For the context of the reboot universe, the Simian Flu is pretty important to the overall story. These movies are the modern metaphor for mankind’s abuse of animals, and nature, total disregard, and arrogance towards nature in their attempts to defy it in a globalized world. The fictitious virus not only destroyed human civilization and made apes smart, but it’s also another metaphor for nature taking back control and punishing humanity for said attempts to defy it. The hypothetical second film in the new trilogy should explore and examine different centuries of how much the virus has changed the face of the Earth for better and for worse on both species. Say, for instance, the opening scene in Rise where humans were hunting apes for gene testing at Gen-Sys Laboratories in San Francisco shows humanity’s dominance and subjugation of apes who have not gained intelligence and sentience. Now centuries later as we will see in Kingdom, the roles are reversed since the Simian Flu has reverted mankind into the primitive caveman beast state and are being hunted by intelligent apes due to the virus. So it would be cool if there was a way to showcase more of the pandemic and the aftermath of it. 

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The Sacred Scrolls and The Forbidden Zone were very important in the originals. Kingdom may start a story thread telling the origins of the Forbidden Zone and eventually, the sequels will involve the creation of the Sacred Scrolls. Hopefully if written well enough, these new movies will expand on the lore of the original films on why ape society was taught to “beware the beast man” and to avoid the lost human paradise known as “The Forbidden Zone”. 

In Conclusion

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Well, that was fun brainstorming for a while. However, the screenwriters and executives at 20th Century Studios already have their plans for the franchise to which I am excited to see what Wes Ball does with this movie. But it is cool to nerd out about the franchise I grew up with. And it would make for a great fanfiction story.

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