Matt Reeves Off 'The Twilight Zone;' Now Leads Studio Short List For 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' With Guillermo Del Toro, Jeff Nichols, Rian Johnson And Others

For about a year now, Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been attached to a new theatrical film based on The Twilight Zone. It was just one of several projects on the director's plate and certainly the most high profile. In that time, multiple writers had been tasked with writing a screenplay but, with nare a greenlight in sight after a year, it seems Reeves has decided to move on. He will no longer direct Warner Bros. new Twilight Zone movie.

Instead, he's now become the frontrunner to replace Rupert Wyatt as the director of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Also on the short list behind Reeves: J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed)Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy), Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) and Rian Johnson (Looper). Read more after the jump.

Variety reported on Reeves' departure from The Twilight Zone, citing "scheduling conflicts" and state that Warner Bros. has placed an "open director assignment" on the film meaning it's wide open to the rest of Hollywood. They also reported on his new interest in the Apes sequel and Deadline added to the report as well.

Let's start with Twilight Zone. While "scheduling conflicts" are likely the official reason, odds are those "scheduling conflicts" came from the fact that after a year of development and multiple versions of the screenplay, no one could piece together an idea that Warner Bros. was ready to make. Maybe that means the proposed budgets were too high or maybe they ideas just weren't good enough. Either way, it's likely that after all that time Reeves finally decided to concentrate on something else.

That something else, it seems, might have been the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which recently had its director leave. Wyatt left, however, because he didn't think he could hit the release date 20th Century Fox has placed on the film: ay May 23, 2014. According to Deadline, Reeves is the #1 name on their short list which seems like a good enough reason to abandon the other franchise.

As for the other names on the short list, I'd imagine could end up in play if Reeves passes. (Meetings are reportedly happening very soon.) That is, except for Del Toro, a total pipe dream as he has Pacific Rim currently deep in post-production.

If Reeves passes on Apes, he'd have plenty of other options. . He's also been developing, or at least has had his name attached to, the zombie apocalypse film The Passage, the Frankenstein film This Dark Endeavor, a new take on the They Live short story and also signed a TV deal with 20th Century Fox just last week. That deal was certainly a major factor in him leaving Twilight Zone but Apes surely factored in too.

Are you sad to see Reeves leave Twilight Zone? Is he the right man for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?