Is Rupert Wyatt No Longer Directing ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 15th, 2013 at 1:18 pm,

20th Century Fox’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes released in 2011 to critical and box office success, and left moviegoers eager to see how the story would develop in subsequent films. More importantly, though, audiences were curious to see how this relatively innocuous story of an intelligent ape would eventually tie into the Charlton Heston original.

Director Rupert Wyatt – while a relative unknown at the time of Apes‘ release – has since grown in popularity, lining up several future projects, including a Rise sequel titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. However, it looks like Wyatt may no longer be attached to the project, and the blame may rest with 20th Century Fox’s desire to churn out a sequel too quickly.

Back in May, the studio announced Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2 would be releasing in two years’ time on May 23rd, 2014. This would put the sequel in a prime summer position, a far cry from its predecessor’s August release date.

Unfortunately, it appears that Wyatt wasn’t prepared to commit to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so soon, and might have pulled himself off the project as a result. The scoop comes to us from Deadline who reports that – much like Gary Ross and the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire – Rupert Wyatt didn’t think he could deliver a worthy Apes sequel in such a short time span.

There’s no official confirmation from Fox or Wyatt’s people at this time, but if this news is true, it means Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is in need of a new director, and fast. Earlier in the year, Fox announced the film would begin production this summer, but that was before they revealed the 2014 release date. Obviously, production has yet to begin, but it’s expected to relatively soon.

Rupert Wyatt No Longer Directing Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2 Is Rupert Wyatt No Longer Directing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

Given the success of the first film, which grossed $176 million domestically, it’s not surprising that Fox wants to get rolling on a sequel as soon as possible. Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ surprise success provided the ailing Fox with a successful franchise that featured some of this decade’s most impressive effects work. Andy Serkis and WETA’s creation of Caesar the ape was enough to warrant further exploration of the film’s world, but the promise of a massive ape uprising could prove just as compelling

Aside from the fact that the script is being handled by Rise‘s original screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amada Silver, along with Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), not much is known about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The assumption is that it will expand on the story from the first film, but given the way Rise concluded, that could mean any number of things. Whether there will be a massive jump in time – or if stars like James Franco will return – remains unclear, but we’d bet Fox wants to stick to the first film’s winning formula as closely as possible.

Stay tuned for an official confirmation about Rupert Wyatt’s departure, and for potential news on a replacement for the director.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is slated to release in theaters on May 23rd, 2014

Source: Deadline

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  1. Typical greedy studios choosing dollars over artistic integrity, rise of the apes was really good, I’m in no hurry to see a sequal tho

  2. Theres mention of the Icarus mission at the start of the film which ties in with the original film. In the Heston original the spacecraft returns to Earth in the 24th century as well by which time the apes had taken over entirely of course.

    I look forward to seeing were they take the story but hope the series doesn’t fail like the original film series did to maintain the quality of the scripts.

  3. Honestly, i think the first one was a fluke. I loved it but as we drew closer to it’s release I was wondering like if the last half hour of the movie would be like apes marching humans into cages or something(stupid i know) but then they stripped it down and made it realistic with the whole **SPOILER** viral outbreak being the downfall of mankind and coincidentally there are intelligent apes running around at the same time. I mean, what would Dawn even be about? I can’t imagine it would have as much action as Rise with humans mostly out of the picture, not that that’s a bad thing but if it’s just intelligent apes forming factions and trying to set up some sort of civilization i’m not sure the film would be nearly as successful as the first one even from a critical standpoint, not to mention that the content of the film (obviously the apes are becoming smarter and so they will be talking) would be mocked relentlessly in MEMES..because, i guess people just can’t take anything even a little serious anymore. Although, i AM a stupid idiot seeing as how that’s the best scenario i could imagine so there is THAT. Looking forward to this!

  4. It will be interesting to see how they take the initial ape uprising and translate that into an overall takeover of the Earth. I am assuming that with the virus wiping out most of humanity, and Caesar’s minions spreading out across the globe (somehow) to recruit the rest of the earth’s apes in zoos and native populations, combined with some unknown way for them to breed tremendous numbers, I guess it can work!

    • Isn’t the virus wiping out humanity the same virus that makes primates smarter? While the humans are dying off, the smart apes would be increasing?

  5. im guessing the beginning could be a montage of events, showing the virus spreading, people dieing, the world shutting down, caesar and his apes spreading, multiplying, all this could happen in in the opening credits. then once the film starts it could be so many years later.

  6. Surprise Surprise, Fox plans on rushing a sequel. Apparently they haven’t learned their lesson from X-Men 3.
    I was pleasantly surprised by Rise and I’m excited for a sequel but if you think about it the film will need a lot longer production schedule. Especially if they want to equal the quality of effects. This may sound silly but the simple thought for me is a sequel will have more Apes so that will lead to more work for Weta.
    But Fox is known for doing this. I thought they learned their lesson noteably by giving Matthew Vaughn enough time to properly make FC2 but it seems like that may have been a one time event…

  7. Screw fox!

  8. I loved this movie it was really impressive and well done. Its a bummer that Wayatt may not return but hey that doesn’t mean weve seen or heard the last of him, even if he does leave the project he’ll probably deliver us some really great films in the years to come. If he leaves i’d actually love to see him direct the next amazing spider-man if Webb doesn’t come back.

  9. way to go Fox. You may be killing yet another successful franchise. Take a lesson from Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy: people are willing to wait for a sequel if it turns out good.

  10. this is just a money grab by greedy fox. rupert wyatt did an excellent job with rise of the apes and should be allowed the time to do better sequel… if he does not direct iam not watching. this is reason why i refuse to support alot of fox’s movies and wont even buy them. stick to the plan idiots..

  11. cant wait!

  12. how do i contact 20th century fox?