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‘Avatar’ Production Designer to Direct Disney’s ‘Maleficent’

Maleficent, Disney’s
revisionist look at its own Sleeping
Beauty
, faced a major dilemma when Tim Burton shockingly left them helm.
However, the Mouse House now looks to a first-timer in Robert Stromberg to bring this film to life, which if all goes according to plan will feature Angelina Jolie in the titular role.

Several months after Burton’s sudden departure, Deadline reveals that Disney essentially promoted Stromberg, a production designer, to the director’s chair. This will be his feature debut, but he’s had a long-standing working relationship with Disney as the production designer on Burton’s Alice in Wonderland as well as on Sam Raimi’s upcoming Oz The Great and Powerful.
He also won an Oscar for Best Art Direction for Avatar
in 2009 and repeated that win for “Alice” last year. He also aided in the
visual effects department for Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World’s End
.

There’s currently no production timetable for the film, but after next year’s The Lone Ranger and Oz The Great and Powerful, Maleficent could be a 2014 tentpole
property for Disney.

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