Director Wes Ball discusses Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

May 12, 2024 A DGA Membership Screening Q&A in Los Angeles

The simian supremacy series enters a new chapter in Director Wes Ball’s sci-fi adventure, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Set 300 years after the events of the previous trilogy, ape civilizations have emerged while humans have regressed into a feral, primitive state. Ball’s film tells the story of a young ape named Noa who defies the vicious ape king Proximus Caesar and embarks on a harrowing journey alongside a human girl named Mae that will lead him to question everything he’s been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.

On May 12, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Ball discussed the making of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes during a Q&A moderated by Director Barry Jenkins (Mufasa: The Lion King).

During the conversation, Ball spoke about how Weta's motion capture technology influenced his directing style.

“I don’t think I've ever done a movie where I had a camera on sticks until this movie. We have a lot of scenes here where it's just quiet, it's just still. That's kind of new for me. I did a couple scenes where I did my usual thing — flying the camera around or on a jib-arm or something like that — and it somehow was taking away from the kind of realness of it all. We had this totally high tech, cutting edge, technological thing on display. It felt like it was a hat on a hat to have this camera being too fancy. I had to go back and reshoot a few of those things to something simple where you can just sit there and watch this magic happen with Weta converting our actors’ performances into these living, breathing, talking apes.”

Ball’s other directorial credits include the feature films The Maze Runner, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Maze Runner: The Death Cure. He has been a DGA member since 2013.


Q&A photos by Shane Karns – Print courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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