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No Pixar for Leaf

09.24.2009

Chris Wedge, the influential animation director who created the ICE AGE franchise, had been developing an animated version of William Joyce's "The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs" since 2006. The project, however, wasn't moving along as well as Wedge had hoped at Fox where the production was housed. He asked for, and was granted, permission to shop the project around town. Then Fox got word Wedge brought the production to his old friend John Lasseter at Pixar and suddenly things got sticky.

Lasseter, who has been friends with Wedge dating back to their days working on the animation team for TRON, immediately sparked to the idea of a LEAF MEN movie and worked out a preliminary deal. But when Disney's lawyers went calling to Fox inquiring about officially getting the rights, Fox wasn't no longer so easy to see the project, and more specifically one of the chief creative talents from its Blue Sky Studios, moving over to rival Pixar.

In fact they were so reluctant to let Wedge take the project to Pixar that they have since greenlit the film. While I'm sure Wedge would've liked to have worked with Pixar, he has no choice now but to return to Fox to direct the film.

As Variety notes, while it might seem odd that the man who's primarily responsible for starting Blue Sky at Fox would move to rival Pixar, Wedge has become less associated with the studio in recent years to develop an independent directing career.

From an animation geek perspective, I think it would have been awesome to see Wedge collaborate with Pixar's creative team but maybe that will happen some time in the future.

Extra Tidbit: After this and the WATCHMEN debacle, Fox just keeps digging its own hole deeper and deeper...
Source: Variety

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7:54AM on 09/25/2009
While we can argue up and down about Fox's motives, unless they screw Wedge on promotion or something, at least it's getting made.
While we can argue up and down about Fox's motives, unless they screw Wedge on promotion or something, at least it's getting made.
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1:12AM on 09/25/2009
if given the choice between workin for fox as an actor/director/writer or flipping burgers, i would be flipping burgers.
if given the choice between workin for fox as an actor/director/writer or flipping burgers, i would be flipping burgers.
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6:31PM on 09/24/2009
I thought this was about Ryan Leaf. He's basically a cartoon.
I thought this was about Ryan Leaf. He's basically a cartoon.
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12:45PM on 09/24/2009

A Petty Move by Fox

This could have been the best thing to happen to Chris Wedge. I have no doubt that Wedge has talent as an animation director, but it seems the Blue Sky Studios films lack some of the detail and creativity that Pixar demonstrates (and the stories aren't that great either). Plus, it is owned by Fox. Therefore, it would have been great for Wedge to work with a studio focused simply on the art of CG animation and a team that can give Wedge's vision the proper treatment. They could have done to
This could have been the best thing to happen to Chris Wedge. I have no doubt that Wedge has talent as an animation director, but it seems the Blue Sky Studios films lack some of the detail and creativity that Pixar demonstrates (and the stories aren't that great either). Plus, it is owned by Fox. Therefore, it would have been great for Wedge to work with a studio focused simply on the art of CG animation and a team that can give Wedge's vision the proper treatment. They could have done to Wedge what they did for Brad Bird. This is terrible news, not only because it proves Fox's pettiness, but it also stole a potentially great movie from the public and probably the best movie experience Wedge would ever experience (come on: who wouldn't want to work at Pixar? Everybody seems to have so much fun there).

Fox doesn't own Chris Wedge. I think after completing this film, Wedge should develop another idea and return to Lasseter, where he can make a movie with Pixar. It could be his masterpiece. Honestly, without knowing much about Chris Wedge, I think he has a lot of talent and needs the proper stage to present it.

Fox could ruin him like they ruin so many other directors. He needs to get out of there and fast!
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+4
12:21PM on 09/24/2009
god I hate fox
god I hate fox
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10:17AM on 09/24/2009

What watchmen debacle!!!

Fox would have made more money than WB on the Watchmen movie. You do realize that Watchmen was a flop and didn't even sell that many DVDs.
Fox would have made more money than WB on the Watchmen movie. You do realize that Watchmen was a flop and didn't even sell that many DVDs.
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