The search for someone new to instruct Andy Serkis where to shake his fist has brought 20th Century Fox to a shortlist of directors they'd like to take on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
With Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt bowing out of the sequel due to studio-enforced time constraints--it's already been decided the film will come out Memorial Day 2014, ape rendering times be damned--Fox is now reportedly down to somewhere around seven directors to take over the franchise. At the top of the list is said to be Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves, while below him lies The Disappearance Of Alice Creed's J Blakeson, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Take Shelter's Jeff Nichols, and The Impossible's Juan Antonio Bayona. Looper director Rian Johnson, and Guillermo del Toro, are also said to be in the running, but they probably shouldn't be considered very serious contenders. Johnson seems rightly content to work his own scripts, and his reps have already denied his involvement; Del Toro, meanwhile, already has Pacific Rim post-production, an animated Pinocchio project, and several new television commitments to worry about, so he's probably not the best guy to approach for film on a tight, arbitrary deadline. Strangely absent from the list: Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Smurfs director Raja Gosnell. What is this guy doing with his life if not auditioning for the chance to film more talking, CGI animals running around a city?