Would you want any of the directors on this short-list to direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

Rise of the Planet of the Apes still

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is coming, and the world of science fiction/action films is a better place for it.  And as Fox is wanting to get this puppy (ape?) moving as quickly as possible, a short-list of directors has emerged to take over for RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES director Rupert Wyatt (who was concerned about making the already-chosen release date). I'll list off the names Fox is look at for you, and then we can get on with breaking down the possibilities.

Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD, LET ME IN), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 WEEKS LATER), J. Blakeson (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED), Jeff Nichols (TAKE SHELTER, MUD), Juane Antonio Bayona (THE IMPOSSIBLE, THE ORPHANAGE), and Guillermo Del Toro.  It's also rumored that Fox is look at Rian Johnson (LOOPER), but Johnson's reps have denied that he is part of the equation.

Reeves is probably the most likely possibility, having a balanced history of both large-scale event work and smaller character-driven work (tinged with horror).  He was last attached to THE TWILIGHT ZONE but has since exited that project.  Fresnadillo is still set to do the HIGHLANDER remake/reboot, so he's probably out unless he gets offered some truly amazing deal (he set a bit of a "leaving precedent" with THE CROW and BIOSHOCK before this).  Blakeson, Nichols, and Bayona are interesting choices in that they all have backgrounds in the thriller/horror genres, with stories that tred some very dark ground.  Bayona is the only one of the three to have had experience working with a big production that integrated the use of large-scale special effects (THE IMPOSSIBLE), so he's probably the dark horse possibility.  Which leaves Del Toro, a man so busy trying to get his own stuff made it's foolish to think he'd take up the second chapter in someone else's saga.  But he too has a background in horror, which makes me wonder if the DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES script by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) is intended to be a darker experience than the first movie.

But no matter who gets picked, the release date remains May 23rd, 2014.  See you then.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director short list

Reeves, Fresnadillo, Blakeson, Nichols, and Bayona

Extra Tidbit: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED is a fantastic, twisty little crime drama with some really great acting. Check it out!



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