Remember that time way back in January when a rumor hit the ‘net that Tim Burton might be involved with a live-action update of Sleeping Beauty that focuses on the Queen of all Disney villains, Maleficent? Well, that was not a rumor at all; it was in fact very much true, and the studio is officially moving forward with Maleficent.
Disney has re-acquired the talents of screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who just penned Alice in Wonderland for Burton, to begin work on a script for this new project. As stated, indications are that it will be similar to Wonderland with a live-action/motion capture/CGI style and a story that basically switches around the perspective of Sleeping Beauty from good to evil. Woolverton has also done work for Disney on titles like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Mulan.
The downfall to all of this (for some, anyway), is that Tim Burton is not signed or sealed for the project at the moment. He has been interested in it for a long time, but with his never ending list of projects, he may not have the time. Burton is supposedly shooting a feature based on his own short film Frankenweenie next, and then he has Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp and the recently-announced stop-motion adaptation of The Addams Family to do. Obviously if this means enough to him, he could drop one or two for now and take hold of Maleficent, but we’ll have to see how it all plays out.
Alice is doing big, big numbers at the box office, but the movie itself isn’t being as critically embraced as most expected it to be. With that being the case, one must ask the question: would this movie be better off if Burton just produces and someone else is hired?
Either way, it should be a lot of fun to see how this project moves forward from here, and especially what it might look like when completed!