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Might Rupert Wyatt Leave ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’?

Back in June, 20th Century Fox signed up Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt for the sequel, but the project could already be in jeopardy of losing him. Deadline has heard that Wyatt might leave the project due to time restraints.

The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is set for release on May 23, 2014. Original Rise scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver wrote the first draft, which got a rewrite from Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns. A three-year turnaround for a sequle is status quo, but as we learned with Gary Ross leaving The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, each director works at his or her own pace.

Fox is undergoing a shakeup thanks to the recent announcement that film head Tom Rothman will be stepping down at year's end, but there's no indication that the re-org has anything to do with it. Fox seems to really like the sequel's script and Apes did surprisingly well back in August of last year, so the franchise potential is among the highest of the studio's many properties.

Having to replace Wyatt would not be all that difficult considering the profile of the project, but it would be preferable for continuity's sake. The story drove the first film more than the directing, but not just anyone can work easily with motion-capture actors. Speaking of, Andy Serkis has already agreed to return for Dawn, which looks to deal with the eruption of a worldwide epidemic.

Wyatt became attached to Universal's Agent 13 starring Charlize Theron back in April and also expressed interest in Warner Bros.' Londongrad with Michael Fassbender before comitting to the sequel. Either way, it should not jeopardize Dawn reaching theaters by Memorial Day 2014.


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