lauren-faust

Sony Pictures Animation today announced the acquisition of an original animated comedy feature pitch by Todd Alcott and Holly Golden entitled “Medusa,” which will tell an all-new story behind the infamous snake-headed lady from Greek mythology.

Emmy winner Lauren Faust, who rebooted the “My Little Pony” franchise in 2010 and turned it into the current “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” phenomenon with an ever-growing fanbase of all ages, is attached to direct the feature.

Faust’s credentials for directing a movie are impeccable; “MLP: Friendship is Magic” is a cultural phenomenon and her DC Nation shorts “Super Best Friends Forever” gained a cult following.

And as the success of “Frozen” and “Maleficient” shows, stories about young women coming of age appeal to a lot of people, including young women coming of age—and this is an audience that can make money for movie studios, and they realize it.

And now an actual director with experience in the target audience has been given the gig. Given all the setbacks and misconceptions about women directors and women in animation, this has to be seen as a real step forward, in part because it just makes so much sense.

It’s important to point out that the film hasn’t been greenlit for production yet, and Sony has struggled more than any other major studio in trusting its directors with original ideas. The studio’s last original film was “Hotel Transylvania” in 2012, and that film shuffled through multiple directors before settling on Genndy Tartakovsky.

The studio’s next two films will be based on existing franchises — “Hotel Transylvania 2” and a “Smurfs” reboot — and the earliest possible slot for another original idea is currently fall 2016.

In other words, while this announcement is a positive bit of news, Sony has proven to be a consistently difficult environment for directors to express a complete vision. We’ll have to wait a while longer to see how this project unfolds.