Hayward and Martino Heard for Seuss’ Horton

Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino have signed up to direct Twentieth Century Fox Animation’s upcoming CG-animated adaptation of Horton Hears a Who, the beloved book by Dr. Seuss. Slated for a spring 2008 release, the film’s animation will be handled by New York studio, Blue Sky, under the supervision of Fox Animation president Chris Melendradi and Blue Sky’s Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots), according to a story in Daily Variety. Theodor Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) widow Audrey Geisel will be exec producing the film, as well as its sequel, Horton Hatches an Egg.

Storyboarding for the film, which has a screenplay by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (The Santa Clause 2), has already commenced. Both Hayward and Martino have a rich background in CG animation. Hayward’s credits include Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and A Bug’s Life. He met Martino (Oscar-winning vfx director for Total Recall) when they worked together on Robots.

‘We always felt that there were in inescapable limits on how successfully live-action filmmaking could translate Geisel’s vision to film,’ Melendradi told the trade publication. ‘With CG imagery and the amazing talents of the artists at Blue Sky, we have the opportunity to truly transport an audience into the enchanted world of Seuss and, for 80 minutes, make then believe that it really exists.” Next up for Fox Animation/Blue Sky is Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, slated to open nationally in theaters on March 31. 2006.