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Though Robert Stromberg has won an Oscar and worked with the likes of James Cameron, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson, he's currently embarking on what's likely the biggest challenge of his career. Not only is Stromberg stepping behind the camera as a director for the first time, but he's doing so on Maleficent, a giant Disney-funded fantasy movie with Angelina Jolie in the title role as the iconic evil queen from Sleeping Beauty.

Maleficent won't be in theaters until March 14, 2014, so we won't know until then just how strong Stromberg's directing chops are, but in the meantime he's already setting up his next project-- and yes, he's jumping back in as a director. The announcement of the launch of Hydra Entertainment, a "development studio focused on producing live-action and CG movies," included word that one of their first projects will be Stromberg's Safari. Writing about the news, Variety described the project as "Jurassic Park meets Avatar"-- and given that Stromberg won an Oscar for the production design on Avatar, he knows more than a thing or two about that film and the world it's set in.

I'm not entirely sure how Jurassic Park and Avatar can meet in a story-- a family vacation to Pandora gone horribly wrong?-- but it sure would be fun to find out, especially if Stromberg can bring his visual effects background to create a world as impressive as James Cameron's film. Maleficent is a pretty huge test for a first-time director, so if nothing else, Stromberg will come to Safari with one giant challenge under his belt, and hopefully ready for the next one.

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