There, you see? We told you that wouldn't take long.
After last week's announcement that Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt would not return for the upcoming sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, we knew that 20th Century Fox had to find a replacement quickly, in order to meet the film's release date of May 23, 2014. The list of candidates reportedly included Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) and such pie-in-the-sky names as Guillermo del Toro (who is way too busy finishing Pacific Rim) and Rian Johnson (who told us that, for now, he only wants to direct from his own screenplays).
But the frontrunner way back on September 26 was Matt Reeves, the director of Cloverfield and Let Me In, who has wound up with the gig. Reeves had a sudden hole in his schedule after departing Warner Bros.' Twilight Zone movie, a job for which, ironically, Rupert Wyatt was once considered. We're hoping that Warner Bros. has a decent sense of humor and snatches Wyatt up for Twilight Zone because there's time now… time enough at last.
As for Matt Reeves, he's a capable director who wound up with a lot of positive reviews for his remake of Let the Right One In, despite fan scrutiny over revisiting what many considered to be one of the greatest vampire films ever made just a few years after its initial release. But the film floundered at the box office, making the gimmicky Cloverfield his biggest success story to date. With the Apes brand name behind him, this could be Reeves' chance to get another hit under his belt and finally prove his mettle as an A-list director. He's got talent, and we hope that the rushed production schedule allows him to craft the best sequel possible. It could happen. After all, whoever thought that Rise of the Planet of the Apes would be one of the most popular films of 2011?
CraveOnline will be back with more Dawn of the Planet of the Apes news after we brighten our eyes.