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Insights from the Director: Which Apes Movies Should You Watch Before ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’?

Key Points: 

  • Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes director says it’s not necessary to watch previous Apes films before the new movie
  • However, watching the modern trilogy and the 1968 original will enrich the viewing experience
  • ‘Kingdom’ takes place 300 years after ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,‘ introducing new characters

Is It Necessary to Watch Previous Planet of the Apes Movies Before ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’?

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

According to director Wes Ball, audiences don’t need to watch any of the previous Planet of the Apes films to understand and enjoy ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.’ In an interview with Screen Rant, Ball clarified that the upcoming movie is not “like season three of a TV series,” meaning it’s designed as a standalone experience.

Ball explained, “You do not have to see the previous movies to jump into this. We have a little opening prologue that sets the table a little bit.” This prologue will likely provide the necessary context for newcomers to the franchise.

READ MORE: Who is the Planet Of The Apes franchise’s most important human character?

Enriching the Experience by Watching Previous Installments

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes via 20th Century Studios
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes via 20th Century Studios

While not mandatory, Ball strongly recommends watching the modern reboot trilogy (‘Rise,’ ‘Dawn,’ and ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’) and the iconic 1968 original film. He stated, “At least watch those four movies. You’ll be rewarded greatly if you have some familiarity with those movies when you go into this movie.”

Viewers familiar with the franchise’s history and themes will likely appreciate the deeper connections and nuances in ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,’ enhancing their overall experience.

READ MORE: Who is the Planet Of The Apes franchise’s most important human character?

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ takes place nearly 300 years after the events of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes,’ introducing an entirely new cast of characters. This significant time jump allows the film to explore a reformed ape society under new leadership while still building upon the franchise’s rich legacy.

As Ball mentioned, the film is designed to be accessible to all audiences, including families, with its mature yet appropriate content.

‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ hits theaters on May 10.

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