Sylvain Chomet vs. "The Tale of Despereaux" Over Proper Credit
The New York Times reports on a conflict between French director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) and the makers of The Tale of Despereaux, the CGI animated feature film coming from Universal Pictures in December (free registration required). Chomet had signed on as the director of the movie four years ago after The Triplets of Belleville was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Academy Award in 2004, and had done story work and character designs for the movie with the screenwriters Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb. According to Chomet, he was fired via fax two weeks before Universal gave the final greenlight to the movie, with any credit for his contributions excised from the movie.
Co-producer Gary Ross claims that Chomet was fired because he wanted to work on The Illusionist simultaneously, and that he was dismissed from the project before Universal approved the project. Ross is also in contractural obligation disputes over screenwriter credits with Viscardi and McRobb.