Who!'s Hayward will direct Jonah Hex, and maybe even keep the zombies?

Looks like that movie based on DC's horror Western comic Jonah Hex is galloping forward: The Hollywood Reporter says that Horton Hears a Who! helmer Jimmy Hayward has signed on to direct.

Josh Brolin is attached to star in the film, which previously had Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank) on board as directors. The duo, who also wrote the script, bowed out over creative differences in November.

The studio, which hopes to put the movie into production in March or April, went on a fast-track search, putting together a short list that included such names as Andy Fickman and McG before narrowing it down to Hayward.

The character of Hex, known for having the right side of his face disfigured and wearing a Confederate army uniform, was a rough-and-tumble gunslinger and part-time bounty hunter whose adventures always ended in blood.

Of particular interest to us, of course, is when the comic mixed the western genre with supernatural and even science fiction elements: In one miniseries, Hex is transported to the 21st century as a kind of Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic warrior, Wikipedia says; in others, he battles zombies, spirit people and even an H.P. Lovecraft-style monster.

Neveldine and Taylor's script reportedly includes the supernatural elements, and the studio will likely keep the script, though it's expected that Hayward will put his stamp on it, the trade paper says. Yee-haw!

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