The directorial merry-go-round at Pixar has seen the animation powerhouse shuffle the game countless times on several of its most high-profile projects, and the decision to replace Brenda Chapman with Mark Andrews midway through production on Courageous eventually saw them share co-directing credit and land an Oscar each after the film won the trophy for best animated feature in 2013.
Andrews has been involved in fourteen Pixar efforts in a creative capacity, but Courageous remains his only credit as a director, so he decided to go it alone to create a whole new animated fantasy. According to Deadline, the filmmaker teamed up with former colleague Andrew Gordon and producer Oded Turgeman to develop Falcon master for Renard.
The concept takes place in a mythical realm where knights ride giant birds of prey in battle, with a young woman named Kess as the main character and audience surrogate. She has always wanted to fly and meets a riderless hawk, taking the steed in the air under her wing while also finding herself embroiled in a plot to assassinate the Queen.
Teaming up with a quartet of exiled knights known as the Four Winds, she sets out on a journey to thwart the royal assassination and embrace her destiny. It’s a unique hook for what has the potential to mix the genres of action, adventure, and fantasy together, but let’s just hope the bare bones of Falcon master prove more How to train your dragon and less The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.