During a panel on writing and Pixar, Mary Coleman, a senior development executive at the company, announced on Friday at the Austin Film Festival that Marti Noxon, a former writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men, had joined the company on an unspecified project, according to a report by Indiewire.
Last year, the company made waves by dismissing Brenda Chapman, a hugely admired animation vet who had previously directed The Prince of Egypt for DreamWorks Animation, from her very personal project Brave. They replaced her with story artist (and John Carter co-writer) Mark Andrews, first claiming that she had remained at the company in an advisory role (she was at one point part of the vaulted Pixar Brain Trust, the company’s governing creative body), but later revealing that she had left for a position at LucasFilm Animation.
The hiring of Noxon, a true creative visionary who is able to oscillate between fantastical material like Buffy and more grounded television dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy, should, shutter the outcry against Pixar’s detractors about the studio’s supposed glass ceiling (and put some ointment on that Brenda Chapman burn).
Indiewire reports that Disney was happy with Noxon’s script for last year’s grossly underrated Fright Night remake (developed with DreamWorks), and that she provided some much-needed eleventh-hour script work on I Am Number Four, which at the time was supposed to be the start to a Twilight-style young adult franchise. While Noxon has never worked in animation before, her sensibilities fit the form quite nicely.
The project that Noxon was hired for, however, has yet to be revealed.