I’m always a little bit wary when studios hire a director for a big movie who has little experience with big budget filmmaking and has only ever previously made passably well-received movies. Although it could be that they have faith in their previously untapped abilities, it often seems like a ploy on the part of the studio to get in a helmer who’s green enough that they can retain total control, while patting themselves on the back for seeming like they’ve taken a risk.
However, whatever the reason behind it, Deadline is reporting that Fox is eyeing British director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) to helm their long-gestating Planet Of The Apes prequel. The movie is a semi-remake of Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, but also designed as a reboot of the franchise following the failure of Tim Burton’s 2001 version of the original. However exactly how the film will work is still in the air, as it’s been changing and gestating for a long time.
The original idea was to do a more hard sci-fi take, with no talking monkeys, which would see scientists creating hyper-intelligent chimpanzees. However Fox wasn’t keen on the first version of the script and since then it’s been through several different writers and producers, most recently going to producer Peter Chernin, who championed the 2001 Apes remake as the head of Fox. It may be that he’s gone back to a more traditional Apes movies, which would see a Chimp called Caesar leading his super-intelligent simian brothers in a revolt against the humans.
Whatever the eventual take, the question is whether we need another Apes reboot, and also whether hiring a director who’s never made a Hollywood movie and is yet to show they’re a cut above the rest is really the way to go?