When you’ve got a dark western property with supernatural flavor and your pair of kinetic, crazy directors splits over creative differences, who’s the ideal replacement? How about the guy who previously helmed an animated kids movie?

Jimmy Hayward, whose last credit card was as director of Horton Hears A Who?, has been tapped to take over as director of Jonah Hex. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor skipped off the project late last year. Warner Brothers wants the film in production as spring hits — March or April is the current time slate. THR notes that Josh Brolin is still attached to star. No surprise there, since the creative differences that pushed away Neveldine and Taylor have been assumed by some to originate with Brolin. I don’t know the truth of that assumption at all, but I’m happy to know he’s still a part of the project.   

It’s easy to look way askance at this news (doesn’t Jonah Hex look at everything askance?) but in reality, it’s interesting more than anything else. Hayward has a lot of Pixar experience, which can’t be bad when it comes time to whip a story into shape, and I didn’t have much of a problem with Horton, given what it was. Can that translate over to a story that is different in every way? Who knows. I’m waiting to hear about changes to the script before my interest dies down.