Not sure about you, but I didn’t expect Rise of the Planet of the Apes to be anywhere near as good as it turned out. My expectations hovered somewhere around the mediocre-rehash level of enthusiasm. But it was more than just solid monkey special effects. The movie delivered a real emotional story, kickass action, and a cool origin story for a beloved sci-fi franchise. So of course sequel talk began almost as soon as Rise had a big opening weekend. Now part two has a director to take the reigns, Let Me In helmer Matt Reeves.
Deadline reports that Reeves has taken a commanding lead in the race, edging out other potential candidates like J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), and Rian Johnson (Looper). Johnson’s reps deny he was ever truly in the running.
Reeves showed that he has a necessary comfort level with giant monsters and special effects with 2008’s Cloverfield, and he forever has a special place in my heart for writing Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have already turned in a script, titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which the producers seem rather fond of. It is said to be “a natural extension of the first film,” which will further explore the great ape takeover, and the battle that ensues. I’m looking forward many a monkey fight. The sequel is set to release on May 23, 2014, so you can probably expect to see some forward progress on the picture before too long.