Perhaps the best possible news that could have come in light of Rupert Wyatt walking away from his directorial duties on "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is that Matt Reeves has been let in. The death of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise loomed large in the air when news hit that the studio was far more interested in achieving the most profit possible rather than making the best possible film. Wyatt walked out and now Reeves walks in.
The studio still cares more about profit than art, but Matt Reeves has proven himself a more than capable director as well as one who can take on an existing project and do something spectacular. Reeves directed "Cloverfield" which was certainly not in the same league as "The Host" but it definitely rises above the clutter of most found footage film. But that's not what's spectacular.
Matt Reeves managed to take on what is definitely in the mix in any discussion of the best movie of the 21st century to date-"Let the Right One In"-and turn it into one of the best Hollywood remakes of a foreign film in a long, long time. Reeves took some of the best things about "Let the Right One In" and bucked the trend of dispatching those aspects in order to imprint an America distinction upon it. As a result, "Let Me In" is disproportionately full of long, lingering takes and meaningful silence. Disproportionate to how fast and cluttered with empty dialogue so many American films contain, that is.
What the sequel to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" needs in light of the shocking and unexpected departure of Rupert Wyatt is somebody like Matt Reeves. A guy who can come into a situation fraught with the potential for failure and, in certain respects, doom and walk away with unexpected success is exactly the right guy for this job.
After all, Matt Reeves helped J.J. Abrams find redemption for "Regarding Henry." But more on that later.
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