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    « Another 'Halloween' Remake: What Could Have Been | Main | Weekend Box Office: September 14-16 »

    No More Monkeying Around - Rupert Wyatt Exits Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Two vital components made Rise of the Planet of the Apes one of the surprise hits of summer 2011. Andy Serkis' leading performance as Caesar, so good it brought up the debate once again why the Academy continuously snubs motion-capture acting. The other was Rupert Wyatt's direction. Let's face it, leading up to its release, we were all laughing, "A Planet of the Apes prequel?! Who's gonna pay to see that?"


    Enough that 20th Century Fox positioned its sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with a prime Memorial Day 2014 release and a paycheck for Serkis to stay fat on mo-cap bananas. And enough for Wyatt to effectively shut his critics up, myself included. Unfortunately while Fox was wise to make Serkis' recommitment as their first priority for the follow-up to move forward, they relied on a sequel clause to keep Wyatt onboard. The deal was reportedly firm enough to kept Wyatt from directing Londongrad with Michael Fassbender to play ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko. Until now.

    "TOLDJA" indicates Wyatt is on his way out. Their wording is wonky (Reads very "Have your cake, eat it too"). But it comes down to this. He's not "comfortable" making that May 23, 2014 release date with the current time afforded him. The same official reason given to Gary Ross' exit from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And like that what they really mean is this is an clash over money, me thinks.

    Wyatt's earned whatever he wants. If he does so exit Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the studio will have no problem finding his replacement. Good luck expecting the same results.

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