There is excitement in the air over the first woman director at Pixar, Brenda Chapman, who is directing Brave for the studio. Chapman’s duties on the film won’t stop there, however. The Hollywood Reporter noted that she will also be writing the film.
One of Pixar’s stated philosophies is that the studio enjoys “shaking things up” when those at the studio feel they are getting too comfortable. For a breath of fresh air, Pixar likes to bring in new voices, such as when they brought aboard Brad Bird (who had directed the critically-acclaimed Iron Giant) to helm The Incredibles. Additionally and most recently, Pixar noticed then-unknown Michael Arndt when his screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine was floating around in Hollywood, and brought him in to script Toy Story 3. Arndt later went on to win an Academy Award for Sunshine, and is now rumored to be assisting in the writing process of an upcoming Pixar film.
The news about Chapman being Pixar’s first female director is not new. However, not much has been made about her writing role. Writing credits on Pixar films are always interesting because many people at Pixar are involved in writing and reworking the story during the production of their films. The studio is extremely collaborative, so while Chapman may have been announced as a writer, she will not be the only writer on Brave.
The story for Brave that has been announced thus far:
A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure Brave. The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt, The Lion King) and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale.
Brenda Chapman has been at Pixar for the past few years, but now directing as well as writing for Brave may indeed prove to be that breath of fresh air that the studio was looking for. A gritty fairytale from Pixar that is also directed by their first female director? Can I line up now?
Brave hits theaters on June 15, 2012.