Rupert Wyatt not directing "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" would be like Steven Spielberg not directing a sequel to "E.T." or Orson Welles not directing a sequel to "Touch of Evil." The auteur theory is a great big load of crap, that much is obvious, but there are cases where a director's sense of vision is so obviously vital to a film's success that you almost begin to question the concept. For god's sake, don't: a writer is an author, not a film director. But that doesn't make it any less an occasion for mourning to hear news that Rupert Wyatt may not be directing the sequel to the most essential film of 2011: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
Talk about real life reflecting reel life. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a movie about the revolution of the oppressed against their oppressors. That's exact what Wyatt seems to be doing.
Big business in America sucks. There, I said it. I don't care what Mitt Romney or all those rich guys he associates with behind closed doors or the Tea Party say: I'd rather not have out-of-touch businessmen who care only about making one more dollar before they died a heartless death charting the course of this country's direction. And there isn't a much clearer example of why we don't need the so-called vision of money-grubbers and bean counters guiding our destiny than the case of Rupert Wyatt and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." The series of events that have led to the possibility of Wyatt discharging himself from directing duties to the movie sequel I am anticipating more than any sequel I can ever remember anticipating all have to do with money and making one dollar more. It's not about art. It's not about personalities.
It is about 20th Century Fox wanting to strike while the iron is hot. As if "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a movie that filmgoers will have forgotten all about by May 2014. This isn't "The Avengers." This isn't a movie that nobody will able to remember six months after watching it. This is a monumental work of political art that raises the kind of questions that none of the Best Picture winners of this decade have even come close to raising. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a mature work of cinema that was on the cutting edge of the Occupy Wall Street/99% zeitgeist sweeping across the nation at the very moment that Oscar voters were giving their award for Best Picture to…a silent movie.
You don't direct a film that so coherently outlines a political statement of defiance against the status quo without having your ideology become an absolutely vital element to the narrative. Rupert Wyatt not directing "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" immediately decreases my excitement for the sequel by at least half and doubles my hope for a revolution that ends with every CEO in America sitting in Guantanamo Bay.
For more from Timothy Sexton, Yahoo!'s first Writer of the Year, check out:
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