Disney taps Robert Stromberg for Maleficent

Maleficent in Disney's Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty poster (1959) - DisneyFollowing this morning’s announcement of a director for Disney’s untitled Matterhorn film, Deadline have once again put it out there that production designergg Robert Stromberg has been chosen to helm Maleficent, the Angelina Jolie vehicle of the evil witch from Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

While this marks another first-time director for a major Disney film, Stromberg certainly knows his way around a special effect and a large-scale production. Stromberg was the production designer on Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and the forthcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, and has been in the visual effects departments of Fortress to TV’s Boardwalk Empire.

It is great to see this faith Disney is putting in untested feature directors, perhaps realising that some of the best blockbusters of the last few years have been from filmmakers with a fresh approach.

Maleficent is one of the most iconic villains in the Disney universe, as the antagonist with the ability to turn herself into a dragon. Awesome. In Disney’s meta-fictional outings such as Disney’s House of Mouse, Maleficent has served as the unofficial leader of the other villains.

Jolie has a pretty full slate over the coming year or two, so no production start date has been set.