John Lee Hancock brought in for reshoots on Angelina Jolie's Maleficent

Angelina Jolie's MALEFICENT feels like it has been in production forever and we have seen set photos and heard about progress, but now it sounds like things may not be running so smoothly on the Disney live action reboot about the villainous queen from SLEEPING BEAUTY. Word has come down that the producers have enlisted some experienced help on some reshoots.

The Hollywood Reporter says that John Lee Hancock, director of THE BLIND SIDE, has written new scenes for the opening of MALEFICENT and will be consulting rookie director Robert Stromberg. Stromberg is making his debut with the $200 million budgeted MALEFICENT after working as a production designer. This marks the second high profile film with an inexperienced director to run into trouble, the other being Keanu Reeves long-delayed 47 RONIN.

Disney has a lot riding on MALEFICENT as they have started multiple productions based on their classic animated films, including CINDERELLA from director Kenneth Branagh. MALEFICENT seemed like a surefire hit with Jolie front and center as the wicked queen and a cast that also includes Elle Fanning, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson and Juno Temple.

Producer Joe Roth said the re-shoots do not involve Angelina Jolie and he is not concerned about the film's status:

"We asked him to be on set," producer Joe Roth says of Hancock. "He's not directing. He wrote pages and I hired a first-time director and it's good to have him on set." Asked why a film of this magnitude was entrusted to a novice director, Roth notes that Stromberg won Oscars for production design on ALICE IN WONDERLAND and AVATAR. "The movie is gorgeous to look at and the last 75 minutes are really entertaining,"

When things like this happen, they rarely turn out well. 47 RONIN looks like a very expensive cartoon based on the trailers. MALEFICENT has a lot riding on it for Disney and they cannot afford for it to become another JOHN CARTER. They really need it to be WORLD WAR Z and ride the negative press to positive box office. Hopefully this works out for the best. We should know more when the trailers finally hit, which should be very soon as MALEFICENT is slated for a May 30, 2014 release.

Extra Tidbit: John Lee Hancock must be Disney's new golden boy after directing this Christmas' SAVING MR. BANKS



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