Great Debate: Who Should Direct Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes?

By Katey Rich and Sean O'Connell 2012-09-26 10:20:26discussion comments
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KATEY: So looking at this shortlist, I want you to make three choices. 1: Someone who won't take the job. 2: Someone who should run far, far away from it. 3: Someone who should do it, time constraints included.

SEAN: Ah, very cool.

1. Guillermo Del Toro won't take the job, particularly now that he's deep in 3D post-conversion on Pacific Rim.

2. Rian Johnson should run very far away from it. He's about to explode, thanks to Looper, and he'll have studio support and options to make whatever movie he wants (I believe, anyway). Tying himself to an Apes sequel that's facing failure is not the position he wants to be in. He doesn't need that headache.

3. And though I'd love to see Bayona take the gig, because his effects work on The Impossible was breathtaking, I think Matt Reeves needs the boost from a potential hit more than Bayona does at this moment. You might not remember, but Let Me In tanked. Hard. We know he can be very creative with effects, as he was in Cloverfield. He has a support system in men like J.J. Abrams and Drew Goddard, who could help him in the process. And if he stepped in and saved the Apes franchise, he'd be back to "hero" status. Agree?

KATEY: Ooooh interesting choices all-- and I'm right there with you on del Toro, who seems like he wandered into this list by mistake.

But for #2, I want Jeff Nichols to get outta there. He doesn't just make small-scale movies, but he does it better than anybody else-- and even though making an Apes movie wouldn't ruin that, I have a really hard time seeing all the things he does best translating to this big a scale, no matter how much creative control he's given.

And for #3, I'm sticking with Bayona. The way he doled out horror and emotion in equal measure in The Impossible has me convinced he's right for the apocalyptic vision that Dawn ought to be bringing-- if that virus we saw spreading in the credits of Rise is as dangerous as it looks, at least.

I think that kind of does it-- any final words?

SEAN: Yes, and they are grim. I fear that no matter who they hire, an Apes sequel that is losing its chief voice (in Rupert Wyatt) has a long uphill battle to reach a level of success. Maybe the screenplay is great. And maybe whomever they hire will hit a home run (or, at least, a triple). But maybe -- just maybe -- Rise was a fluke that worked because of Serkis and Franco's chemistry as well as an audience's lowered expectations. Are you excited about an Apes sequel, whomever they hire?

KATEY: Yes, actually-- entirely because Serkis will be back. His Caesar was the miracle of the first movie, and I'm really interested to see where they take the character, even if the scale and drive of the story are completely different from the first one. I'm ready to follow Caesar anywhere, and while the sequel might not have that same unexpected greatness, I'm willing to try it anyway.

Who should direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

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