Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the latest entry in the modern Planet of the Apes reboot series, hit theaters earlier this week. Despite some uncertainty over the series’ future following the departure of director Matt Reeves, who had helmed the critically acclaimed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, it seems the solid track record of 20th Century Studios’ Apes franchise remains intact. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has been met with a largely positive response from both critics and audiences, and it appears to be performing well at the pre-weekend box office.

“But what the heck does any of this have to do with The Legend of Zelda?” you may be asking, if you’re a Facebook commenter who hasn’t read the article.

Well, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes just so happens to be the latest film from director Wes Ball, the man tapped to direct the upcoming Legend of Zelda live-action film. Ball, currently on a press tour to promote his latest project, has probably fielded just as many questions about the Zelda movie this past month as he has about the newest Apes film. And though he’s only been allowed to provide a few brief teases about his plans for Zelda, we might be able to conclude a few things about the upcoming project by looking at Ball’s work on Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Outlets like Vainty Fair and Den of Geek have praised Wes Ball for honoring the Apes films that came before him and proving that the series has a path forward. Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer even went as far as to call Kingdom “the best Planet of the Apes movie since the 1968 original, which makes sense as director Ball and screenwriter Friedman clearly have studied that film.” Observations like this, to me, show that Ball can effectively inherit a franchise and deliver something new that honors the stories that came before. Many critics also praised Ball’s use of visual effects and his sense for action, which sound like strengths that will translate well to a fantasy epic like The Legend of Zelda.

Ball’s handling of characterization and emotion, on the other hand, received a more mixed response, with outlet Cinemalogue calling the film more “spectacle than substance.” While some asserted that Ball delivers when “the film requires intimacy and contemplative introspection,” others consider Ball’s work a “step down from Rupert Wyatt and Matt Reeves” in that department. We Zelda fans can agree that the upcoming film needs to nail the emotional aspects of the story. I certainly hope that Wes Ball takes what he learned from Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes and refines his approach to story, emotion, and characterization for The Legend of Zelda.

So, what do you think? Does the positive reception of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes bode well for the Zelda movie? Has Wes Bell proven himself as the right guy for the job? How do you want to see him improve between projects? Let us know in the comments below!

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