Pixar’s 13th feature-length film, Brave (due summer 2012), began life as The Bear and the Bow. Conceived by Brenda Chapman, whose previous directorial effort was The Prince of Egypt, the film was to be the first Pixar feature directed a woman (it is also their first film to feature a female protagonist). But as we all know, Pixar is run by a bunch of sexist assholes (I’m kidding), and last we heard Chapman had been replaced by Mark Andrews, who made the Oscar-nominated short One Man Band. Well, now EW.com has some updates, along with some nice concept art pics.

It seems that Chapman and Andrews will be sharing directing credit — though it doesn’t sound like Chapman is actually co-directing at this point, so much as the credit is simply for work already rendered.  Also off the project is Reese Witherspoon, who had been tapped to voice the film’s lead. She is being replaced by Boardwalk Empire‘s Kelly Macdonald. I have no comment on the Andrews/Chapman situation, but considering that Brave is set in Scotland, Witherspoon seemed horribly miscast; like Dreamworks-we-just-need-someone-famous miscast.

Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida (Macdonald) is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida’s quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).

Seriously. Looking at the rest of the cast, can you imagine hearing Witherspoon’s voice mixed in with that lot?