EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has learned that Emily Dean, a vet of such animated pics as The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and The Lego Batman Movie, is set to make her feature directorial debut on Sony Pictures Animation’s Tao. The project is in early development with Tonya Kong attached to write.
Tao is described as a female-driven sci-fi adventure story that is set in China. The plot is being kept under wraps.
Dean studied at CalArts before starting her career in Pixar’s story department. The Chinese-Australian animation writer-director previously worked in the Story Department at Warner Bros. under Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, serving as their Story Artist on The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Movie 2.
She won an Australian Academy Award for her animated short film Forget Me Not in 2012.
Dean is repped by Verve, Brillstein and Morris Yorn. Kong is repped by Verve, 3 Arts and Jackoway Tyerman.