When you think of horribly scarred post-American Civil War comic book gunslinger Jonah Hex the thing that immediately springs to mind is…a cartoon elephant in a primary-coloured world? Well, it is now, with the news that Horton Hears A Who director and former Pixar animator Jimmy Hayward is to direct the film, which has Josh Brolin attached to star in the title role.

Hayward replaces Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who left the project citing “creative differences” in November. The strange thing is that their script, which mixes the supernatural elements occasionally featured in the comic book with the usual Western gunslinging and bounty hunting for which Hex is known, remains the likely shooting script, so it’s hard to see what those creative differences were – perhaps the timetable, perhaps casting matters. That said, the studio do expect Hayward to “put his stamp” on the film, so there may be changes to come.

Hayward, who’s making his live-action debut on the film, apparently beat other contenders like McG and Race to Witch Mountain‘s Andy Fickman to the job, and now faces the challenge of getting everything ready for a quick start in March or April. Let’s hope he can cut down on the sugary colours and ramp up the blood count for what promises to be a rather twisted Western.

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