When the idea to make a movie entirely about the Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent first popped up, it made perfect sense-- Tim Burton was interested in making it for Disney, the studio that has helped him mint money since Alice in Wonderland, and he wanted Angelina Jolie to play the titular villainess. But while Jolie has stuck around, Burton eventually backed off, leaving the studio to eye an increasingly ill-suited bunch of directors-- David Yates, Darren Aronofsky and David O. Russell were all tossed around for the job at some point.

Somehow Maleficent is still happening, and the studio has finally settled on a director, though not nearly as big a name as any of the ones mentioned. According to Deadline Robert Stromberg will be making his directorial debut on the film, after worrying as the production designer on Avatar and the upcoming Oz: Great and Powerful, along with Disney's own Alice in Wonderland. Those credits probably tell you more about what the project is aiming for than anything else-- it seems they wanted Tim Burton to perfectly replicate his Alice in Wonderland success, and when the director balked, they hired a guy who could mimic it perfectly, since he helped create that world to begin with.

Hopefully Maleficent won't be as garish and awful as Alice in Wonderland, but if Disney is trying to perfectly replicate their success, we might be in trouble. Maleficent doesn't have an official release date, but we might expect it to go into production soon now that they've gotten that pesky detail of a director squared away.

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