Audiences won’t get to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the latest sequel in the long-running sci-fi franchise, until this summer, but 20th Century Fox must surely be happy with how the anticipated film is shaping up because they have signed Dawn director Matt Reeves to both co-write and direct the next Apes adventure.
Reeves, who also directed Cloverfield and Let Me In, will share scripting duties on the third entry in the rebooted Apes franchise that was reborn with the surprising success of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes with Mark Bomback. The original screenplay for Dawn was written by Rise scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver and went through rewrites by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) and Bomback. In addition to this summer’s smashing X-flick The Wolverine, Bomback has also worked on the scripts for Live Free or Die Hard, Tony Scott’s final movie Unstoppable, and last summer’s Total Recall remake.
Locking up the same creative talent from one entry in a successful franchise for another is hardly any sign that the upcoming movie is going to be worthwhile, but it is a sign of good faith on the part of Fox executives that Reeves’ direction of Dawn has fulfilled and maybe even surpassed their expectations. The first trailer for Dawn that was released a few weeks ago gave many of us hope that the once-troubled Apes series was continuing to move in the right direction, with the upcoming looking even darker than the previous film. Reeves can be a strong director when given the right material, and if the studio’s faith in his abilities to marshal in the future of the Planet of the Apes isn’t misplaced, then Dawn could better than anyone ever imagined.