After Rise of the Planet of the Apes turned out to be a monster hit, the studio moved quickly to start mapping out a sequel for the rebooted franchise. Now the guy who wrote the script for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has opened up about why he left after turning in his first draft.
Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Bourne Ultimatum) was hired to write the sequel script and worked with original director Rupert Wyatt on a story he says he was very proud of. But the studio apparently didn’t agree, so Wyatt was replaced with Matt Reeves (Let Me In), and Burns’ script went back to the drawing board.
Burns opened up to Collider about the experience, calling the shakeup “heartbreaking.” He also dropped some hints about what could’ve been with his initial draft of the script:
“I have no idea [if they’re using my script], Rupert Wyatt and I worked on a draft last summer that I think we were both really excited about and he went into Fox and they seemed to like it, they wanted a lot of changes and they sort of parted ways over those changes. Then management shifted at Fox, they brought in a new director, I think the new director wanted a new writer and I don’t know how much of what we did and I wrote is ongoing. It’s kind of heartbreaking because I really loved what we were trying to say with that movie so I hope some of it survives or that they came up with something a lot better.
I felt the way about it that I think a lot of the people involved did, which was that I loved the apes, but I felt that the human characters needed to be more interesting and that was sort of my task when we started talking about the second one. I was loving it, it was a really fun world to play in. It’s really heartbreaking when these things sort of leave you and you’re not even sure why.”
Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Total Recall) has since been brought in to retool Burns’ script, so there’s no telling how much, if any, of it will actually survive. It’s never a good thing to have too many cooks in the kitchen, so it’ll be interesting to see if success might be what dooms the next generation of Apes films.
How do you think Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will turn out?