After losing Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the studio has been frantically searching for a replacement, as they hope to begin shooting in March or April. McG and Andy Fickman were both on the short list, and back in December, Lexi Alexander was reportedly interested in the script. Instead, they chose a former PIXAR man, who made his directoral debut with Horton Hears a Who.
From all reports, they're keeping the Neveldine/Taylor script, so there is that, but Hayward is expected to give it his own mark. Who knows, maybe it's a smaller step from Dr. Seuss to a scarred cowboy than I'm able to picture. You can even argue that animated films and comic books have a lot in common, so you can't really judge ... but it's still a surprising pick, all creative differences considered.
So, will the choice of Hayward tip the balance for Josh Brolin or not? THR is still listing him as attached, but last we heard, he was still undecided as to whether or not to take the lead -- and it all hinged on who was sitting in the director's chair. Will he approve of Hayward over Neveldine and Taylor? Or will he depart for the open prairie, leaving Hayward without a cowboy?