The apes aren't quite our masters yet — but they're getting there. The ominously titled War for the Planet of the Apes looks to see the rebooted primates finally conquer the humans, setting up the planet of the title. So how many more Planet of the Apes movies will there be? Once the humans are defeated, doesn't that pretty much bring the reboot back to the setting of the 1968 original, where the apes rule over the humans with an iron fist? Well, not exactly.
Assuming the apes do emerge victorious in the war of the new film, they still have a ways to go before catching up to Planet of the Apes. That film saw Charlton Heston crash land on a planet controlled by super smart apes, who kept humans enslaved. This planet was of course revealed to be Earth in the future after Heston stumbles upon the destroyed Statue of Liberty at the end of the film, but a lot has to happen between the new movie and the original film before getting to that point. In the original, it's clear the apes have been in power for many generations. They have a lot of infrastructure in place, and their society is almost entirely ignorant of their origins. Meanwhile, every ape in War for the Planet of the Apes knows that humans were their masters, and they have zero infrastructure set up. Plus, it's revealed in the original that Heston's ship traveled over 2,000 years into the future, meaning it's going to be a looong time before he comes calling.
Because of this big gap, there is a lot of room for the current prequel series to grow, and therefore there is no set number of films planned. The series could run for one more movie or a dozen; its future is wide open. "You know the ending, but what you do know is also that the [prequel] world is not that [original] world," War director Matt Reeves told Screen Rant's Angie Han. "So how did it change? Caesar’s apes are not like the apes in the Planet of the Apes, right? They’re very brutal to the humans. That’s not what’s going on, so how did that happen? And you know that Caesar had such integrity, and that he has this sort of sense of right and wrong, of his morality, yet you watch that be challenged. He ends up having to kill one of his own. All of those things give us a chance to explore human nature and do it in a way that is really fun. ‘Cause these are all, frankly, totally new stories ... We absolutely have ideas about where it goes."
Reeves also recently told Fandango's Erik Davis that a new character introduced in War for the Planet of the Apes, Bad Ape, could help pave the way for future sequels, which could focus on apes other than Caesar and their conflicts with each other. "When [co-writer] Mark [Bomback] and I came up with the idea for Bad Ape in War, that was to imply the idea that there would be apes out there in the world that Caesar and his apes knew nothing of, and that they wouldn’t have had the benefit of Caesar’s leadership and the values that he had instilled in his community," he revealed. "That future conflicts in this kind of epic journey that takes us toward the ‘68 movie without necessarily ever getting there could be about conflicts between apes, not just conflicts between humans and apes. And so, to me there are many more exciting stories to be told, and I would love to tell those stories."
There's definitely a lot of interest in making more Planet of the Apes movies, and about 2,000 years of history to play with, so I would expect many more monkey movies in the years to come.