We heard last week that Rupert Wyatt had decided not to direct the sequel to his successful “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” apparently because he felt he couldn’t do it justice and make the May 23, 2014 release date (though rumor says he just didn’t like the screenplay outline Fox has agreed on). Well, while Wyatt was an important part of the first film, Fox can’t afford to mourn his departure; according to Deadline, they’re lining up candidates to take over the now valuable franchise who think they can deal with the release date required.
They’ve got some good names on their wish list: Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield,” “Let Me In”), J Blakeson (“The Disappearance of Alice Creed”), Guillermo del Toro (“Pacific Rim” and all those other del Toro things we love), Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter,” “Mud”), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“28 Weeks Later,” rumored for “Highlander”), Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible,” “The Orphanage”), and Rian Johnson (“Looper”). Reps for Johnson deny he’s pursuing the gig.
Who would you like to see get the job? If I were the betting type and I could find someone who was taking bets on this, I’d put money on J Blakeson. He’s similar to Wyatt when he came to “Rise,” a relatively unknown but up and coming director who won’t cost too much, possibly less than anyone else on the list. I think the studio is mostly interested in finding that gem in the bargain basement.