"I had a great time working on 'Apes,'" Burns enthused. "I love science fiction and I think that it's, in contrast to ['Side Effects'], an awesome opportunity to do social commentary in a really fun way. Rupert Wyatt and I worked on a script that I loved and I had a great time doing that." But Burns adds that his removal was fairly typical. "Then Rupert and the studio parted ways and, as sometimes happens, when the director leaves the studio through the front door, the writer is frequently thrown out the second story window," he joked. "When they brought in a new director, they brought in a new writer. So I don't know how much of what they did they will still be using, because what we did was really fun and I was really happy with the work we were doing."
At one point Wyatt had said he toyed with the idea of having the sequel be a kind of "Full Metal Jacket" of "Planet of the Apes," where you would see the ape society militarize and follow chimp Caesar (Andy Serkis) as he becomes a revolutionary leader. Burns confirmed that this was indeed in the cards. "Yeah it had a bit of that," Burns said. But, of course, given the concerns and intelligence of the filmmakers involved, there was way more to it: "It also, it really explored the notion of peaceful coexistence and compromise versus extremism and conflict and that kind of inherent issue and how you get along with the other."
We'll see how much of this conceit remains when "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," now directed by "Let Me In" director Matt Reeves, opens on May 23, 2014.