Our friends at Cartoon Brew are hearing from their “reliable sources” that Brenda Chapman is no longer directing Pixar’s Brave (previously titled The Bear and the Bow).

We hear that she was pushed aside from full directing duties a while back, and that story artist Mark Andrews (who also co-directed the Pixar short One Man Band) has taken over directorial duties. We understand that the change officially happened last week, although it had been inevitable for some time.

Now don’t jump to any conclusions. This doesn’t mean that Brave is going to be a bad movie… Any employee of Pixar will be the first to tell you that every movie they’ve made has been a disaster at one point, that the key to their success is reworking and reworking a project until it becomes something great. In fact, this is what happened with Ratatouille and Toy Story 2.

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Willem Dafoe Joins John Carter of Mars

willem dafoe john carter of mars

Willem Dafoe is the latest actor to join Andew Stanton’s big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice BurroughsJohn Carter of Mars. Dafoe will play the role of Tars Tarkas, a brutal and mirthless green Martian warrior, who possesses the ability to feel love and empathy, an unusual characteristic among his savage race. The newly arrived Earth man John Carter develops an alliance with Tarkas after learning his secret. The film is expected to be the first of a possible trilogy, and considering Tarkas fights alongside Carter through the entire series of books, Dafoe likely signed on or has options for sequels.

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John Carter of Mars

After many years in development, it appears that John Carter of Mars is gearing up to begin production. As you know by now, Finding Nemo and WALL-E director Andrew Stanton will be making his live action feature debut with an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1917 sci-fi fantasy novel A Princess of Mars. KLS is reporting that Disney has signed a deal to shoot part of the film in Utah. After the jump I also have exclusive info that Tom Cruise was circling the project for a short period of time.

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Pixar Confirms John Carter of Mars Trilogy

johncrater.jpgThe guys at Pixar have apparently made a trip to Edgar Rice Burroughs archives, doing research for a trilogy of John Carter of Mars films. That’s right, they are planning not one, but three films based on Burroughs work. In attendance for the trip: director Andrew Stanton, the director, Mark Andrews, screenwriter and producer of Wall-E / Pixar executive Jim Morris. So it appears that is the creative team on John Carter.

The Pixar team also confirmed to EBZine that the first John Carter film would hit theaters before 2012 (presumably because the world is supposed to end in 2012, or maybe there was just an opening on the schedule, which is probably more likely).

As of right now, this is what Pixar’s future looks something like:

  • June 27, 2008: WALL-E, Andrew Stanton (writer/director of Finding Nemo)
  • 2009: Up, Pete Docter
  • 2010: Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich (co-driector of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo).
  • 2011-2012: Which leaves John Carter of Mars and possibly Brad Bird’s adaptation of 1906 (unannounced).

A Princess of Mars was first published in 1917. The movie will follow Civil War vet John Carter, who is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.