Reese Witherspoon is out, and Kelly MacDonald is in. That's not copy for a celeb magazine's Hot or Not "thermometer of the week", it's the casting news on Pixar's upcoming folk-tale, Brave. And it's not the first big switcheroo the film has seen, either.
The project swapped directors last year, with Brenda Chapman leaving and Mark Andrews coming in, though according to Entertainment Weekly, both are to be credited as co-directors. I hope this isn't just a trick play by the studio, trying to keep the "directed by a woman" card on the table? Or, if it is, I hope Chapman is being compensated for this, however she sees fit.
The same EW article also premieres some concept art for the film. We don't get a clear look at anybody's face, but hopefully that will come with a teaser trailer attached to Cars 2. The art work is below, alongside some casting and plot premise information that EW also provided:
Brave is set in the mystical Scottish Highlands, where Merida is the princess of a kingdom ruled by King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). An unruly daughter and an accomplished archer, Merida one day defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. In an attempt to set things right, Merida seeks out an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) and is granted an ill-fated wish. Also figuring into Merida's quest — and serving as comic relief — are the kingdom's three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), the surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson), and the disagreeable Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).
And these pictures are in lovely, lovely hi-res now, so click through to see some wonderful detail.
Incidentally, I don't buy this "scheduling" reason for Reese being out of the picture at all. Perhaps she gets the last (hollow, Hollywoody) laugh, however, as the EW story is "tagged" as being in their Reese Witherspoon category, while there's no such thing as a Kelly MacDonald category for it to go in.