No Pixar for Leaf

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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