Director Rupert Wyatt has officially vacated his simian throne.  Given that they already have a script, Fox isn’t wasting anytime in replacing the filmmaker and have conjured up a list of seven potential candidates to get Dawn of the Planet of the Apes into theaters on May 23rd, 2014.  Without further ado, here’s our current “magnificent” seven that sit at the top of Fox’s wishlist:

  • RIAN JOHNSON (Brick, Looper)
  • JUAN ANTONIO BAYONA (The Orphanage, The Impossible)
  • JEFF NICHOLS (Take Shelter, Mud)
  • J. BLAKESON (The Disappearance of Alice Creed)
  • MATT REEVES (Cloverfield, Let Me In)
  • JUAN CARLOS FRESNADILLO (28 Weeks Later, Intruders)

Before anyone gets excited, let’s pare things down a bit.  Rian Johnson’s reps are already denying that he is involved in this manhunt and GDT is still knee-deep in post on Pacific Rim (and slowly gearing up Beauty and the Beast).  That’s two down.  On top of that, as is always the case, we might already have a frontrunner among the group:  Matt Reeves.

Reeves was announced late yesterday as suddenly departing Warner Bros. theatrical Twilight Zone reboot.  At the time speculation had his television production deal with Fox pegged as the cause.  Given the above list and his current relationship with the studio, it isn’t much of a stretch to see that 2+2=4 here.  While we won’t know anything for sure until the eventual press release, don’t be surprised if Matt joins the likes of Don Taylor and J. Lee Thompson as a “Helmer of the Apes”.  Regardless of who is ultimately chosen, expect Fox to fill this slot very quickly.  Dawn is one of their tentpoles for 2014 and a franchise they want to prosper, so they will want to keep this ship sailing as smoothly as possible…and without delay.

Source | Deadline