Fox eyes Del Toro for Apes sequel

The reimagined Planet of the Apes franchise is in need a new director.

Yes, Rupert Wyatt directed Rise of the Planet of the Apes and successfully reinvented one of Fox’s most valuable franchises. However, Wyatt is apparently leaving the series before the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, kicks off.

Reportedly this is a situation similar to what happened with The Hunger Games and Gary Ross. Ross, who also wrote Big and wrote and directed Seabiscuit, didn’t like being on a tight schedule for Catching Fire, which is due on November 22, 2013. The next Apes flick is due for release May 23, 2014, which means whoever’s taking over the franchise is gonna have to hustle to get it done on time as well.

As Deadline reports, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who wrote Rise, have also written the script for Dawn, and Fox likes it, so filling the director slot should happen pretty quickly. The current top choice are apparenty Matt Reeves, who directed Cloverfield. Other helmers being considered include J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) and Guillermo Del Toro.

Del Toro would absolutely be a great choice, but you wonder if he would be inclined to take it on. He should be pretty busy getting his next big flick, Pacific Rim, ready for its July 11, 2013 release, and now it’s also getting converted to 3D. Where Franklin J. Schaffner did a great job directing the original Planet of the Apes, most of the original Apes flicks had a revolving door of directors. If that’s how the modern Apes films turn out, it could be interesting to see what a different helmer could do with each film. (Then again, if the directors are just regular journeymen looking for a pay day, it won’t matter who’s making the movie, because they’ll do a workman-like job that will turn out the same anyways).

Speaking of Pacific Rim, we just reported that Del Toro’s first movie since 2008 will be converted to 3D, which at first Guillermo wasn’t thrilled about, which is why he didn’t shoot it in 3D in the first place. Now as the site GiantFreakinRobot reports, Del Toro says he’s behind a 3D conversion.

Del Toro had very specific instructions for the 3D conversion, especially with the FX shots, and he says that Warner Brothers agreed to his requests. He especially wanted forty weeks to get the conversion done right. “As an example, Titanic took about fifty weeks to convert,” Del Toro said. “What can I tell you? I changed my mind. I’m not running for office. I can do a Romney.”