As if Tom Rothman‘s unexpected departure weren’t enough, 20th Century Fox are getting a big shake with Deadline’s report that Rupert Wyatt is about to exit Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — a film that, right now, might be their most vital sequel. We can blame timing on this one, since the English helmer — in a scenario which has already raised comparisons to Gary Ross‘ moving on from Catching Fire — didn’t think he could make the May 23rd, 2014 release date and still put out a good film.
A noble reason, if not one which creates feelings of disappointment on the part of yours truly, being both a fan of the overall Apes franchise and his own recent installment. Not for nothing, though, are we hearing that Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have completed a screenplay that Fox likes — no mention of the thought-to-be-hired Scott Z. Burns, oddly enough — while the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes allows the studio to “aim high” in picking another director. How high, though, and what kind of creative voice they’d get is more important than anything else as of now.
Still, the departure of Wyatt — an interesting visual stylist who took a less-than-fantastic script and made a pretty strong piece of entertainment — is a real bummer, the sort of development which impedes my hopes for what Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might bring forth. If anything good comes from this, in fairness, it would have to be Wyatt‘s newfound opportunity to direct Agent 13 with Charlize Theron in the lead. I suppose that counts for something.
Is it disappointing to hear that Wyatt might be leaving this franchise behind? Do you have any other helmers in mind?
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