‘DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES’ NEEDS A DIRECTOR
Earlier this month, as they are wont to do, FOX pulled an “X-Men 3: The Last Stand” scenario on Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, essentially forcing him to walk away from the project due to the unreasonable time constraints.
Now, FOX is searching for a replacement, and Deadline is reporting that they have narrowed it down to seven candidates: Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim); Matt Reeves (Cloverfield and Let Me In ); J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed); Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intruders); Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter); Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage); and Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper).
FOX needs to be reallllllllly careful here. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was an excellent science-fiction film, as well as a surprising success that no one really saw coming. If they slap together a sloppy, rushed sequel ala the aforementioned X-Men 3, the whole thing could blow up in their faces, and they could lose a promising franchise.
When you look at list, the obvious name that flies out at you is Del Toro, but I can’t see him taking this project on given the insanely short production window and the workload that he already has on his plate. Rian Johnson is another intriguing possibility, but he seems like the kind of director who likes to tell his own stories. Apparently, FOX’s frontrunner is Reeves, which would sit just fine with me, because I am one of the thirteen people who actually liked Cloverfield.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the title of the sequel, and FOX is looking at a May 23, 2014 release date.