Sony Pictures Animation has hired Lauren Faust to direct a movie about Medusa, the snake-haired monster from Greek mythology. Faust created “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic,” a popular television series inspired by the colorful Hasbro toys.
“Antz” writer Todd Alcott and producer Holly Golden sold the studio on a comedy pitch about a beautiful, young girl who transforms into Medusa, a gorgon whose gaze turns people to stone.
“I love the originality of it, the comedy take on Medusa,” Michelle Raimo-Kouyate, president of production at Sony Animation, told TheWrap. “The minute I heard it, it felt ingenious and clever and funny.”
Faust told TheWrap the movie will portray Medusa as a decent girl who irks the wrong goddess. After turning into a monster, she learns to embrace what makes her different.
Revisionist myths and fairy tales have been popular in Hollywood of late. Disney’s “Maleficent,” which showed the sympathetic side to a classically evil character, has grossed more than $200 million worldwide since opening last week.
Sony Pictures Animation hopes Faust can deliver a film that captures the same mix of young men and women who obsessed over her “My Little Pony” series. Her revival of the classic 1980s Hasbro toy property has become such a phenomenon among young men that Faust executive produced and starred in a documentary about its legions of adult fans affectionately known as “Bronies.”
Sony Pictures Animation has had success in the past betting on television directors and writers. The studio hired “Dexter’s Laboratory” creator Genndy Tartakovsky to direct “Hotel Transylvania,” which grossed $358.4 million worldwide in 2012. The sequel, Sony’s next animated movie, is scheduled for next year.
Before getting her own big break, Faust wrote for “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and “The Powerpuff Girls,” created by her husband Craig McCracken. “Medusa” will be her first feature directing job.
“In recent years, with movies like ‘Tangled’ and ‘Frozen,’ and not to toot my own horn, the polarity of ‘My Little Pony,’ people are more open to [female protagonists],” Faust told TheWrap. “Just because something is about a girl, that doesn’t mean it’s not for them.”