Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is Rupert Wyatt Exiting ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes?’

Despite its awful title, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was actually one of the biggest surprises of 2011. Anchored by a brilliant motion capture performance by Andy Serkis, a well-developed script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and solid direction by Rupert Wyatt, the movie was given rave reviews and was a box office smash, pulling in $481 million globally on a modest $93 million budget. The success led 20th Century Fox to almost immediately green light a sequel that would follow the continuing development of Caesar and his ape army, but now it's looking like the project may lose its director. 

Deadline is reporting news from insiders that Wyatt could be stepping away from the sequel, which will be titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Much like the circumstances that led Gary Ross to not sign on for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, apparently the filmmaker is ready to jump ship because he is uncomfortable with the timeline that the studio has given him to get the movie made. Back in May it was reported that Fox is aiming to release the film on May 23, 2014, and apparently Wyatt doesn't believe that he will have enough time between now and then to make a quality product. While the release date may seem far away, you also have to remember that a great deal of work goes into constructing the film's CGI, so it's easy to see how a rushed schedule could potentially harm the final product. 

Fox declined to comment on the story, but if it's true then they will have to work quickly to find a replacement. The good news is that because Rise of the Planet of the Apes was so successful they could have a chance to rope in some serious talent. The studio is apparently very happy with the sequel script from Jaffa and Silver, and we'll just have to wait and see what the next step is. Outside of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Wyatt is also attached to Agent 13 with Charlize Theron and has shown an interest in Londongrad with Michael Fassbender, so the filmmaker probably won't be off the big screen for too long, even if this project falls through. 

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