If you have ever wandered into the children's section of a bookstore, you've undoubtedly seen the work of William Joyce. If you have small ones, you may have even read them. Joyce is a wonderful author, one of the rare picture book authors who write as well as they draw. Few of Joyce's books have made it to the big screen (a truly curious thing), but one of his more recent efforts will be coming to theaters near you, as Variety reports that The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs has been re-optioned by Fox.

At the moment, though, the story behind the option is causing more of a stir than Joyce's work. Pixar and Fox were both fighting over The Leaf Men, which was originally set up at Fox with Chris Wedge directing, and a script by Joyce and James V. Hart. Allegedly, Wedge was then given permission to shop the project to other studios, and Pixar immediately said "Bring it here! We'll make it!" (Wedge and Joyce both have good history with Pixar. Wedge is friends with John Lasseter, and Joyce helped design characters for Toy Story and A Bug's Life.) But when all involved moved to close the deal, Fox said "No way. We're keeping it." Now it's all back at Fox, but at least there's no hard feelings towards Wedge.

Now we just have to hope that Fox Animation makes a good movie, because The Leaf Men is a lush and enchanting book starring a group of doodle bugs who reside in an elderly woman's garden. She falls ill, and the garden falls into disrepair fermented by an evil spider queen. The doodle bugs call on the legendary Leaf Men (characters who Joyce's daughter described as "so handsome!") to help save them. A bit like A Bug's Life, but more along the lines of Robin Hood than The Seven Samurai. It'll be beautiful if handled right. Now, if Pixar would just make Dinosaur Bob ....

categories Movies, Cinematical