After reporting that director Rupert Wyatt was exiting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox is now looking for a replacement. As of this writing, it looks like Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) is leading the pack. Rounding out the short list of directors is J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and Jeff Nichols (Mud). Longer shots being reported are Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro (doubtful), Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) and Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart). Hit the jump to get this sorted out.
Deadline also reports that the directors will be meeting with Fox production president Emma Watts to see who’s best suited to helm the sequel. The current draft turned in by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver has pleased execs so they’re looking to get back on track quickly. As is usually the case with these short list stories, take the news with a grain of salt until we get studio confirmation. For instance, del Toro is almost always on a studio’s short list and while a del Toro Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel would be enticing, I’d be surprised if he moved his schedule around for it. On the other side of the coin is Cooper, a director known for turning down major tentpole projects to focus on character-driven dramas. He’s only taken on one directorial assignment after 2009′s Crazy Heart, the currently-in-post Out of the Furnace.
Nichols has shown he has the chops to handle character development. Blakeson, Fresnadillo and Bayona are interesting choices since their careers feature strong horror backgrounds. I’d still put my money on Reeves (especially since he’s no longer attached to direct The Twilight Zone), but we’ll wait until this situation shakes out. Shouldn’t be too long.