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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Director Talks Lessons He's Applying To His Upcoming Zelda Movie

Director Wes Ball is slated to direct a live-action Legend of Zelda movie for Nintendo.


Coming off the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie early last year, which was both popular with critics and made a huge amount of money, Nintendo felt so good about how they handled that one that they greenlit a Legend of Zelda movie, to be handled by Maze Runner Trilogy and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes director Wes Ball--it's still very early in that process, though, without even a planned release year at this point.

GameSpot had the chance to speak with Ball as part of his promotional efforts for his new Planet of the Apes movie, which lands in movie theaters on May 10. It didn't take too long for the Zelda movie to come up after I asked him about how working on his Maze Runner movies, which were heavy on CGI despite having relatively small budgets, helped prepare him for life on this even-more-CGI-heavy Planet of the Apes movie.

Ball immediately gave me some perspective on just how much of an escalation Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes was for him.

"Those three [Maze Runner] movies' budgets combined are less than this one movie. I'd call them low budget in a way. I mean, the highest budget we had was like $60 million, I think," Ball said. And one of the most important takeaways for him was just learning to deal with a fandom that actually cares about the property you're adapting.

"It was good practice. I think when we started Maze Runner, for the first movie, it had sold like 3 million copies, which is nothing compared to the Hunger Games, but we were able to, like, create a franchise, and the movies were really successful for the studio, and I think the fans that they were intended for really got a kick out of them. So I got a little taste of that whole expectations game on those movies," Ball said.

But even more important than that, Ball went on, was simply learning how to do what he wants to do on a massive film like this.

"I got to really sharpen my skills on the craft and execution front on those movies, I think more than anything. But yeah, you learn something on every one that you do. I learned a ton on this one, too, you know, and we'll take that into the next one."

That "next one," of course, is a whole other escalation for Ball when it comes to fan expectations, because with The Legend of Zelda he's going to have to deal with a fanbase that's been waiting a long time for this movie. So I asked him to detail what exactly he's taking from his experience making Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes into his Zelda film.

"So much. All the stuff that you normally do, of how do you put the money on the screen, you know? And talk about expectations, there's a tremendous amount of expectations on this one. I'm gonna wrestle with that." Ball said.

"How to trust all the incredibly talented people around you, you know, to help kind of see the vision forward, you know what I mean? So there's all those things that kinda carry forward. And then just the continued thing of, every movie you get a little bit of experience about things that you thought you knew or you thought you understood, but didn't."

Ball's Zelda movie doesn't have a release window yet. But you can see Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes in movie theaters starting May 10.

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