Rupert Wyatt Escapes PLANET OF THE APES

The director abandons the rebooted franchise.

Lots of change at Fox lately: Tom Rothman, the micromanaging head of the studio, has announced he's leaving. That's good news in a lot of ways, because Rothman's insistence on meddling in every stage of a production meant that lots of movies got fucked up; it was only in the last year or so that Fox seemed able to join the modern genre revolution and release good films like X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Rise was a surprise success; I heard stories during post-production that director Rupert Wyatt thought his career was over. The studio held the film close, barely screening it - and then was very surprised when critics liked the film a lot. And was even more surprised when the movie was a hit. Fox scrambled to get a sequel going,called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and they started the way movie studios always do: with a release date.

That date, May 24 2014, may have proved too soon for Wyatt. According to Deadline the director has left the project because he feels he can't make that date and deliver the right movie. He's probably right. But at the same time I'm not going to get too worked up about it; the first film did well enough that a post-Rothman Fox could very well find a new director who will do a bang-up job. 

I remain optimistic about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I know it's foolish, but it's my only defense mechanism.