Warner Puts Hex on Horton Helmer

Warner Bros. has tapped Horton Hears A Who! director Jimmy Hayward to direct its adaptation of the DC Comics property Jonah Hex, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be the first live-action project for Hayward, who was senior animator on Mainframe’s 1994 television series ReBoot before animating on such Pixar films as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. He made his directorial debut on Horton after working with Fox and Blue Sky Animation on Robots.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directing team behind the hit action flick Crank, were originally attached to direct Hex, but left the project in November due to creative differences. Warner hopes to have the pic in production this spring.

The film will star Josh Brolin as a disfigured gunslinger and bounty hunter who wanders the west in a Confederate army uniform. Created by John Albano and Tony DeZuniga, the character debuted in 1972 in DC’s All-Star Western series, and has been revived a couple of times, most recently in 2005. He also showed up in animated form in episodes of Warner Bros. Animation’s Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited.

Like some of the comics, the Hex flick will apparently include supernatural elements in addition to traditional western fare. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is producing the film along with Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance Prods. Greg Silverman and Elishia Holmes are shepherding the project for Warner Bros. and Gregory Noveck is overseeing for DC.