Sony Pictures Animation is slowly building itself back up after the chaos of the 2014 hacking scandal and all the internal problems that were brought up to the surface. Unfortunately, this process involves yet another unfortunate casualty on one of its projects.
In an exclusive report by Cartoon Brew, Lauren Faust publicly revealed at this year’s CTN Animation Festival that she will no longer direct the upcoming project Medusa. This comes not long after Lionsgate unveiled the cast and crew of the upcoming My Little Pony feature film, based on her popular 2010 reboot of the property.
Announced back in the Summer of 2014, Medusa would have marked Faust’s first feature-length directorial debut. But as she revealed to the CTN crowd, she and her crew were met with challenges when they tried to reconcile their vision of the film with the new mandate set forth by new management.
“I very much enjoyed my time at Sony Pictures Animation and was extremely excited about the progress our amazing team was making on Medusa,” Faust told Cartoon Brew. “But, as it happens at so many studios with so many projects, we ultimately ran into creative differences on the direction of the project. I do not know if Medusa has been shelved, but I am no longer working on it or at Sony.”
While rumors deemed the project shelved after Faust’s exit, sources familiar with the project tell Cartoon Brew that Medusa is still in development and that everyone involved is trying to move forward with the project: “[SPA} president Kristine Belson is championing the project and currently looking to bring in a new director.”
If this story sounds familiar to you, then it’s because this is the exact same situation that occurred with another high-profile Sony Animation project: Genndy Tartakovsky’s Popeye adaptation. Like with Medusa, Genndy Tartakovsky also ran into problems when the movie he had in mind differed wildly from the film that new management wanted. As a result, he’s now out of the director’s chair and the status of the project remains unknown.
Once again, this is a far cry from when Lauren Faust was first interviewed about the project here:
But then, things at Sony were a lot different before the hacking scandal. Once perceived as something of a rising star, Sony Pictures Animation now is rebuilding its reputation after various emails revealed a number of problems, both with the handling of creative talent and the way operations were run.
As of now, Sony Pictures Animation operates under a new edict from Kristine Belson, which includes a more rigorous focus on franchise-building in addition to original projects. Only time will tell if Medusa will still have a place in the studio’s future prospects.
What do you think? Are you still looking forward to Medusa?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes