Matt Reeves Tops ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Director Shortlist

Published 3 years ago by

dawn planet apes director Matt Reeves Tops Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Director Shortlist

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the followup to last year’s rebooting prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The sequel has a script from returning duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, with revisions by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis will reprise his other famous motion-capture performance, as the revolution-leading chimp, Caesar. However, we learned earlier this month that Rise director Rupert Wyatt is not coming back for the sequel.

Fox, therefore, is on the prowl for a suitable filmmaker to replace Wyatt and has drawn up a list of potential replacements. The director shortlist is topped by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) – who, perhaps not-so-coincidentally, recently signed a TV development deal with 20th Century Fox; not to mention, we found out yesterday that Reeves has passed on directing The Twilight Zone for Warner Bros.

Studio heads want to strike while the iron’s hot, so they’ve scheduled Dawn for a May 2014 release. The relatively short turnaround between films contributed to Wyatt departing the sequel, but could allow for someone like Reeves to step in, seeing how there’s been little progress to report on his other developing projects of late. Of course, the same is true for another candidate on the Dawn shortlist, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), whose reboot of the Highlander franchise with Ryan Reynolds has no definite release date or production timeline yet.

The ending of Rise set the stage for some horrific, apocalyptic, events to transpire in Dawn, which explains why Fox is looking at people like Reeves and Fresnadillo to direct (given their previous work). Other names on the shortlist include J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) and Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), all of whom have experience telling emotionally-intense and sometimes downright-terrifying stories.

Insiders say Rian Johnson (Looper) also made the shortlist, but Deadline has been informed by his reps that he is not interested. Similarly, Guillermo del Toro’s name made the cut, but he’s too busy to be considered a legitimate possibility. The other aforementioned candidates are acclaimed horror/thriller filmmakers who come with a small price tag, but that does not mean for certain one of them will land the job over either Reeves or Fresnadillo.

matt reeves let me in Matt Reeves Tops Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Director Shortlist

Matt Reeves on the set of ‘Let Me In’

Reeves did a commendable job capturing a catastrophic event – one involving a giant monster’s rampage, no less – from an intimate perspective in Cloverfield. Moreover, with Let Me In, he made a coming-of-age tale that features centuries-old vampires feel grounded and believable. That’s to say, he’s a reasonable choice to stage a convincing global epidemic and underground ape revolution in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (as experienced through Caesar’s eyes).

Fox, of course, will be the final judge of that, and it’s possible the studio could go end up going with another director than Reeves, be it due a difference in creative vision or scheduling issue. We will let you know who, exactly, ends up landing the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes job as the story develops.


Source: Deadline

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  1. I am soooo happy to hear that Andy Serkis will reprise his amazing role as “Caesar”!!! NO ONE could play that role but him – he is AMAZING!!!

  2. looking forward to this

  3. i like the ´creepy´title -dawn of the…-,i´m really looking forward to it.

  4. Saw Rise at a local drive in and loved it, it was brilliantly done. I was bummed when Wayatt decided to not come back for the sequel because he did a terrific job i think. Hopefully they will choose someone who will do as good a job. If Reeves is said to be that man with do respect welcome aboard.

  5. J

  6. Jeff Nichols please he has talent

  7. Wow, I think any of those directors would do a fantastic job. Excited for this movie :)

  8. Honestly, any of those directors would be fine with me.
    Rise was such a great movie, I hope the sequel can measure up.

  9. its amazing how many of you will jump on any director’s bandwagon. all the directors being considered have not done anything that mass audiences
    rushed to go see lately. they should have let wyatt take his time and putting out a great product… now we will be exposed to another brett rattner who pratically copied previous style and material of first 2 xmen films… count me out of this one until it goes straight to DVD…

    • What in Caesar’s butthole are you talking about? These directors haven’t made anything audience have rushed to go see? Neither had Wyatt before he made Rise of the Apes. There are tons of directors who breakout without having much experience. At least Fox is looking at reasonable choices who have experience making films related to the content we can expect to see in Dawn.

  10. NO!!!!!!!! I hated Cloverfield. A depressing, narcissistic, who cares movie.

  11. Its gonna get interesting, one of the best prequels of all time loved it

  12. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes isn’t a prequel

    • Yes it was.

      • No its not because the films aren’t in the same timeline. In the original, Caesar was born in a circus in 1973, while Caesar was born in a lab in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes in present day. If you’d watch the original films, you would note that the time lines cant make sense.

        • Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes place prior to the events of Planet of the Apes, but changes (re: reboots) the pre-established continuity from that film and its sequels. That’s why I call it a rebooting prequel.

  13. I’m extremely dissapointed that Wyatt isn’t returning. He did such a fantastic job. I’m okay with Reeves and I really want del Toro, but honestly, I wish Wyatt had stuck around.
    On a side note, might go see Looper this weekend, then I could see whether or not I’d be confident with Rian Johnson helming this.