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Now in theaters: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

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Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes swings into theaters this weekend. The 10th film in the sci-fi franchise is set 300 years after the events of 2017’s War of the Planet of the Apes.

This time around, Wes Ball takes the reins as director from the previous trilogy’s helmer Matt Reeves, and Ball tells ABC Audio Kingdom is more than your usual summer movie fare.

“We started writing this thing right as COVID hit, right? And so we were thinking about that a lot. And so we kept talking about treating knowledge like a virus,” Ball says. “How you can catch it, you can spread it … It can change you for better or worse, you know what I mean?”

He adds, “Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff to chew on, I think, in the movie.”

Owen Teague stars as the main chimp Noa, with Freya Allen playing a mysterious human called Nova. Allen describes what she was looking at on set while all the ape actors were in their motion capture outfits. “A big stick coming out the head, the camera on it, a lot of dots and nipples,” she recalls.

Allen explains that last one a bit more, “Basically they had very tight suits on, and they had all these things on them which had, you know, circle and then a ball in there and it looked like nipples.”

Teague says of the mocap get-up, “I mean I think the first day when you’re aping for the first time, it can feel a bit silly, but … we were all so into it and so committed … We all just bought into it instantly.”

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