It’s survival of the fittest at 20th Century Fox since Disney’s acquisition and luckily for the Planet of the Apes franchise it’s in great shape.
According to Iger, Fox made a $170 million loss last quarter which is why it is trimming the fat and moving its newly-acquired studio into a new direction.
“One of the biggest issues was the Fox studio performance which was well below where it had been and well below where we hoped it would be when we made the acquisition,” Iger said.
The continuation of Planet of the Apes will mean that a new film, its story and characters, will exist within the universe first established in 2011 in with Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
2014 saw the release of its follow-up, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which earned more acclaim than the previous and in 2017, War for the Planet of the Apes opened in cinemas.
The Matt Reeves-directed instalment is the last of this franchise to be released and was universally praised by critics. It also earned a substantial box office, taking $490.7 million worldwide against a $150 million budget.
Two years later, Iger’s announcement is the first concrete news that a fourth film is on the way as Disney tries to get Fox back on financial track.
“It will probably take a solid year, maybe two years, before we can have an impact on the films in production,” the CEO said. “We’re all confident we’re going to turn around the results of Fox live action.”
This might be good news for Reeves fans as the director has his hands full with The Batman so he’s not really free to get going on a sequel to his 2017 film.
However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got ideas for the future as he detailed a spin-off concept to Yahoo Movies which would focus on Steve Zahn’s original 2014 character Bad Ape who popped up in War for the Planet of the Ape too.
“Bad Ape is actually a seed that is a forest,” Reeves explained. “In this story we see that the idea is that the world is revealed to be much larger than the apes ever imagined.
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“There are apes who grew up without the benefit of Caesar’s leadership and they might not just be pockets of one or two, there might be actually colonies, and might that be where future conflicts come for Caesar’s apes?
“They have the benefit of the integrity that he’s instilled in them,” he added. “So what’s going to happen when they encounter others who didn’t have that?”
Writer Mark Bomback said that he was “ready to take a breather and let things rest a bit," after the release of War, but if Disney is hoping to turn a profit with Fox that breather might shortly be coming to an end.