It looks as if "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" director Rupert Wyatt will NOT be returning for the upcoming sequel at 20th Century Fox says Deadline.
Wyatt's departure is reportedly the same reason Gary Ross dropped out of returning for "The Hunger Games" sequel - namely the director wasn't comfortable hitting the May 23rd 2014 release date the studio had already announced.
Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver have reportedly already turned in a script which the studio has warmed to, so now things are being readied in time to make that date. It's expected the studio and producers will quickly go about finding a replacement as the franchise has become one of the more important at the studio.
With the 'Apes' sequel no longer int he cards, Wyatt can pursue other projects he has been linked to including the Charlize Theron-led "Agent 13" and "Londongrad" about former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning.