One of the biggest surprise hits of 2011 was the reboot film Rise of the Planet of the Apes. While audiences flocked to theaters to watch James Franco hang out with an Andy Serkis motion-captured ape, much of the film’s success was credited to director Rupert Wyatt’s expert eye with it came to visual tone and atmosphere. So it was surprising that he wasn’t asked to return for the upcoming sequel film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
In an interview with What Culture, Rupert Wyatt explains why he didn’t return to the Apes series for Dawn. Apparently his ideas for the sequel didn’t match with Twentieth Century Fox’s sensibilities. Wyatt elaborated:
I had a take on the sequel which didn’t marry with the Studio’s [take]. Regardless, I was hired to direct Rise of the Planet of the Apes against all odds, and I was given that opportunity by a studio and producers who were prepared to take a chance on me. For that I’m very grateful.
When asked if the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had changed since he left the project, and if he had contacted the sequel film’s new director, Matt Reeves, Wyatt responded with an assured, “No. Matt Reeves is a Filmmaker, and a very good one, so I’m sure it has.”
With James Franco not expected to return for the sequel and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns unclear what changes had gone into his original script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a big mystery in terms of how it will stack up to its predecessor. However, Andy Serkis said the new film would feature his character, Caesar, as a (figurative) bridge between humans and apes, so the sequel could feature more apes than humans this time around.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will rise in theaters everywhere on May 21, 2014.