Pixar is known for solely developing films based upon ideas that emerge from within the studio – that means that no stories are solicited from outside writers. However, established writers have been known to be brought into the studio for the scripting and screenwriting process. Recent examples include writer on The Lion King and Hercules Irene Mecchi, who worked on the screenplay for Brave, Little Miss Sunshine writer Michael Arndt who wrote the screenplay for Toy Story 3 (and is currently working on The Untitled Film That Takes You Inside The Mind with director Pete Docter), and The Visitor writer Tom McCarthy who worked with Docter on Up. Now, we hear that Marti Noxon, writer and producer of several successful TV shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Mad Men, has joined the ranks of Pixar on an unspecified project.
Drew Taylor of The Playlist reports that at an Austin City Film Festival panel earlier today, Pixar senior development executive Mary Coleman announced that Noxon would be joining Pixar. One look at Noxon’s IMDB page and you will see a slew of TV show credits including work on the aforementioned Buffy and Mad Men, along with Angel, Glee, Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy, and Prison Break. Personally, I am a big fan of only a few of the shows (Mad Men and Buffy), and never much got into the others.
Noxon’s work in the film business is far outweighed by her work in the TV industry, but her recent film project Fright Night, a remake that seemed headed for certain doom, connected with many critics. Her addition to the animation studio comes soon after Brave co-director Brenda Chapman headed a high-profile exit. However, looking at her lengthy resumé and her ability to work in the fantasy and supernatural genres, one has to think that her credits and not her gender is what got her hired. Nevertheless, another woman joining the studio is without a doubt great news.
What remains a mystery is what her role at Pixar will be and what project she will be working on. Given that Monsters University is coming in about 8 months and Arndt is already connected to the Inside The Mind film, my best guess would be that Noxon might be working on The Untitled Dia de los Muertos Film with director Lee Unkrich, especially given its connection to death and the possible appearance of dead beings – working on Buffy and Angel, Noxon surely has a history with characters who are dead. Until Pixar or Disney make a formal announcement, it is all pure speculation at this point, though.
I am always excited to hear new voices coming out of the studio, and Noxon’s hiring is no different. I look forward to seeing what she can accomplish in Emeryville.