HORTON HEARS A WHO! director Jimmy Hayward is set to make his live-action debut with Warner Bros. new Western JONAH HEX, based on the DC Comics character, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Hayward was an animator on the Canadian TV series REBOOT before joining Pixar for TOY STORY, A BUG'S LIFE, TOY STORY 2, MONSTERS, INC. and FINDING NEMO. Also involved with Fox, he worked on Blue Sky's ROBOTS and made his directorial debut on HORTON, which debuted last year.
Josh Brolin is attached to star as the title character. Previously, scriptwriters Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were set to direct, but bowed out over creative differences in November. WB hopes to put the film into production in March or April. Other shortlisted directors included Andy Fickman and McG.
The partly disfigured gunslinger and bounty hunter wears a Confederate army uniform and gets into bloody adventures that combine the Western genre with supernatural elements. Neveldine and Taylor's script featured the supernatural, and the studio will likely keep it, with Hayward's input.
JONAH HEX includes producers Andrew Lazar (Mad Chance) and Akiva Goldsman (Weed Road). Neveldine and Taylor wrote and directed CRANK, starring Jason Statham. The duo are working on a 2009 sequel to CRANK.