Christmas has come a bit late for a number of Hollywood stars.  Yesterday, Keira Knightley finally found a director for her period drama “The Beautiful and the Damned” and today, Josh Brolin has found a filmmaker to helm Warner Bros.’ big screen adaptation of DC Comics’ classic character “Jonah Hex.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a surprise candidate, Jimmy Hayward, beat out (or was the last one standing) a number of possibilities including Andy Fickman (“Race to Witch Mountain”) and McG (“Terminator: Salvation”).  Hayward made his feature directorial debut with the Fox animated flick “Horton Hears a Who!” last year.  The most recent incarnation of “Hex” was supposed to be directed by the duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (“Crank”) who also wrote the script.  The pair bowed out over the dreaded “creative differences” in November.  Despite the departure, Brolin stayed attached to play the title role.

A gunslinger and bounty hunter from the Old West known for his scarred face and Confederate army uniform, Hex’s print adventures have been incredibly varied.  In fact, it is believed Neveldine and Taylor’s script had supernatural elements that will be retained under Hayward’s tenure.

A former Pixar veteran, Hayward has worked on such films as “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Robots.” 

Brolin is a leading candidate for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in “Milk.”  “Hex” is the only project currently in his pipeline.

Warner Bros. hopes to begin production on “Hex” this March or April.