Jon M Chu

With J.J. Abrams in a galaxy far, far away, the final frontier is wide open. After the success of this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, Paramount is getting ready to prep a third Star Trek film and the hunt for a new director is underway. The studio has yet to make a decision, but Latino Review is reporting the frontrunner is Jon M. Chu, the director of G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Update: The director’s reps deny that Chu is connected to the film. Via email, they said “No one has contacted Jon or his reps about this project.” Now, Paramount could still be interested in him, but that may be all it is right now. Other rumors paint Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as the next likely choice.

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Rupert Wyatt to Direct Noir Thriller ‘Night Film’

Rupert Wyatt

Rupert Wyatt got some positive notice after the his debut feature, The Escapist, but it was his next film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, that introduced him to a broader audience. And although he decided to bow out of that franchise before the sequel started shooting, he’s apparently happy to re-team with the people behind it.

Wyatt has just been attached to direct Night Film, Chernin Entertainment’s adaptation of Marisha Pessl‘s upcoming crime thriller novel.

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Briefly: Sony and Denzel Washington want to make a new/updated version of the classic ’80s TV series The Equalizer. It’s pretty easy to see why, as the role of a former intelligence agent who offers his skills pro bono to people in need seems like something that could very easily blend Washington’s appeal with modern economic concerns to achieve some of the same popularity of a film like Taken.

But getting someone to direct the film hasn’t been a quick process. The project has been in development for a while, but since Denzel came on it has seen the director’s chair occupied for a while by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson). He moved on earlier this year. More recently, it looked like Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) would make the film. But schedules didn’t work out, and Wyatt moved on. That leaves Sony looking for someone new.

Wyatt has a couple other big projects to do: he’s directing some TV (the pilot of Turn, for AMC) and just landed Nicholas Hoult to play the lead in his film adaptation of the novel Birdsong. [Deadline]

Rupert Wyatt‘s plans to return for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes didn’t quite work out, but thanks to the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes he’s had plenty of other options to choose from. Now, he may finally have found his next film.

Wyatt has entered early talks to helm The Equalizer, Sony’s action thriller based on the ’80s TV series. Denzel Washington has been on board for some time now to play the lead, a retired secret agent who tries to redeem himself from an ugly past by helping people in need. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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One thing’s for sure about Benedict Cumberbatch‘s “John Harrison”: He definitely has the evil villain voice down. No wonder Paramount is using his “you think your world is safe…” line for everything from TV promos to motion posters. Also after the jump:

  • Jessica Alba didn’t think a Sin City sequel would happen
  • Director David Twohy is pleased about Riddick‘s R rating
  • Guillermo del Toro is already working on Pacific Rim 2
  • Rupert Wyatt reveals the real (if vague) reason he left Apes
  • Find out how to be an extra on Apes and/or Anchorman 2
  • Zachary Quinto talks tackling the iconic character of Spock
  • Star Trek Into Darkness reveals some nice high-res pics

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The Escapist director Rupert Wyatt became a wanted name in Hollywood after Rise of the Planet of the Apes turned into a critical and commercial hit. Rather than directing the next Apes film, Wyatt walked away to find something else.

That “something else” turns out to be an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks‘ novel Birdsong, which Wyatt scripted and will direct. The novel spans 1910 to 1917, with some dalliance in the late ’70s as well, and is the story of an Englishman who indulges in an affair with a married French woman before the war, and is later seen as a dedicated officer on the front lines. Read More »

Based on the header image, can you guess who’s coming back for Breaking Bad‘s final stretch? Also after the jump:

  • Sam Mendes and a Skyfall co-writer team for a Showtime project
  • Rupert Wyatt gets hired for AMC’s period drama pilot Turn
  • Disney XD’s Tron: Uprising desperately needs more viewers
  • Check out two new stills from Arrested Development
  • Could Michael Cera be angling for an Archer guest spot?
  • Michelle Monaghan joins Cary Fukunaga‘s True Detective
  • The CW’s Amazon and Arrow could be set in the same universe
  • Dexter and Stephen King‘s Under the Dome get premiere dates
  • A&E’s Bates Motel unveils five creepy new posters
  • Here’s a new cast photo for Mortal Kombat: Legacy
  • Watch the season premieres of Californication and Shameless

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It’s not at all uncommon for film franchises to switch directors between installments, even when last entry was considered an all-around smash. That doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing when it happens.

Last summer, Rupert Wyatt‘s sharp direction helped turn Rise of the Planet of the Apes into one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. So studio execs and fans alike were pleased when Wyatt agreed to return for the follow-up, 2014′s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But it seems Wyatt’s now gotten cold feet, and may be dropping out of the series altogether. More after the jump.

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