David O. Russell attached to yet another project, this time Angelina Jolie's Maleficent
As things were heating up on ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the critically reviled Tim Burton film that nevertheless went on to gross over $334 million in the US alone, Disney got the bright idea to reboot another of their classic characters. They began developing MALEFICENT that would spin a new tale out of their classic SLEEPING BEAUTY and Angelina Jolie quickly became attached to star as the so-called "Mistress of All Evil."
Burton and his ALICE writer Linda Woolverton had been developing the film but the director got cold feet and focused his attention more on DARK SHADOWS (now filming with Johnny Depp) and finishing work on FRANKENWEENIE. Disney, however, is still eager to get the project off the ground before Jolie loses interest and has now entered into talks with David O. Russell (THE FIGHTER) to work on the film.
Russell was something of a persona non grata in Hollywood because of his combustible on-set personality and the difficulties getting NAILED finished (the work-in-progress film still sits on a shelf somewhere). But THE FIGHTER gave Russell new-found clout; he just doesn't know what to do with it.
Russell had been working on an adaptation of the popular video game "Uncharted" for Paramount and had set Mark Wahlberg to star. The project almost immediately turned off fans of the game and Russell left over "creative differences." He's also attached to THE SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK, an adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel, again with Mark Wahlberg to star. And then there's THE FIGHTER 2, which Wahlberg continues to remind us is happening.
Which, if any, of these films Russell will actually tackle next remains to be seen but I have my doubts that it will be MALEFICENT. He does seem eager to launch a studio property but I don't know that his personality is a great match for Disney nor do I think he has the patience for Disney's sometimes meticulous development process. But only time shall tell...