Fox Searching For New Apes Director

Matt Reeves and more being considered

So it was rumoured, so it has – unfortunately – come to pass. Rupert Wyatt is officially off Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and 20th Century Fox production president Emma Watts is meeting with possible replacements. Squatting on the list of potential candidates? Matt Reeves, J. Blakeson, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Jeff Nichols and some chancer named Guillermo del Toro.

Despite his experience with creatures and effects, we’d have to put GDT at the longest shot simply because he’s already too busy doing other things. While he has shown a supernatural ability to multi-task and likes nothing more than loading his project buffet plate with tasty goodies, he’s got to finish Pacific Rim, work on the pilot for the Strain TV series and produce a myriad of other movies. So while we won’t count the workaholic out just yet, consider him an outside chance.

As for the rest, Reeves is a likely fit, as, a packed development slate aside, he’s just dropped out of making the new Twilight Zone film for Warners and has a gap in his schedule. He’s definitely got the background and attention to detail an Apes film would demand, but he also may choose to do other things.

Blakeson and Nichols might not have the big scale background, but don’t forget that Wyatt had made exactly one movie – The Escapist – when he was hired for Rise. So a limited blockbuster CV isn’t necessarily a hindrance here. Juan Antonio Bayona and Fresnadillo are both solid possibilities, depending on their schedules.

One other name mentioned (even as Deadline’s report has his agent denying he’s even considering it) is Looper’s Rian Johnson. We definitely don't see him taking on a franchise sequel, particularly given the healthy buzz his first foray into sci-fi is garnering.

But with that May 23, 2014 release date scampering forward like a rebellious simian, expect an announcement to be made soon. Any of the names above would be a fair shout, but which would you pick?