As producer Jon Landau once said while discussing the still-developing "Avatar 2": "Movies make release dates; release dates don't make movies." Which is sage advice that someone might want to pass along to the various Hollywood executives commanding some of the industry's biggest blockbusters. According to Deadline.com's Mike Fleming, Rupert Wyatt is the latest director to bail on a franchise, leaving the sequel to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" because of a fast-approaching release date.
Back in May, 20th Century Fox announced that "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the sequel to "Rise," would arrive in theaters on May 24, 2014. Nothing is confirmed yet, but if Wyatt does leave the franchise behind, Fox would still have plenty of time to find a new director.
If all this sounds familiar, that's because you remember director Gary Ross left "The Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire" under similar circumstances.
"As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule," Ross said in a statement back in April. Francis Lawrence wound up replacing Ross on "Catching Fire," which is in production right now.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was a surprise global hit for Fox in 2011. The film grossed $481 million worldwide, making a sequel all but rubber-stamped. Along with the "X-Men" franchise, "Apes" is one of the most lucrative franchise the studio currently has under its roof.
For more on Wyatt and what he might do next, head over to Deadline.com.