Oftentimes the same director is on board to direct a sequel of a film especially if the film was a big box office success. Many in the industry feel that using the same director will not only helps with the continuity of the film but will also allow the sequel to be as successful as the original. That’s why it was a big surprise when Gary Ross walked away from ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. Now it looks like another big sequel will have a new director as Deadline is reporting that ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ director, Rupert Wyatt, may also walk away from helming ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’.
‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is set to pick up where the last film left off with a virus carried by the apes begins to spread through humanity leading in a global pandemic. The script written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver has already received a green light from the studio and they are anxious to get production started on the film.
Wyatt had originally agreed to direct the sequel but now he’s having second thoughts due to the studio’s announcement that the movie would be in theaters by May 23, 2014. He felt because the studio had set a concrete release date, it made for an extremely tight production schedule. Granted, the film wouldn’t be released for another year and a half, but a great deal of work goes into creating the film’s CGI and a rushed schedule could potentially produce a substandard product.
This is reminiscent of Ross’ exit from ‘The Hunger Games’ sequel as he declined directing the film for the same reason. Rumor has it that this same tight production schedule will also see his replacement, Francis Lawrence, not likely to return for the third film.
Fox has yet to comment on this news but if Wyatt does walk, the studio will have to scramble to find someone to take his place. Because the first film was so successful (about $483 million worldwide successful), it shouldn’t be too hard to sign a replacement.
As for Wyatt, he’s in a win-win situation. Even if he decides to walk, he has other projects to keep him busy. He’s attached to the film ‘Agent 13’ which has Charlize Theron possibly starring in and he was interested in directing ‘Londongrad’ which has Michael Fassbender attached to play the lead.
A decision will probably be made soon so stay tuned to see if an official confirmation about Rupert Wyatt’s departure is made and the potential news on a replacement for a new director.