Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Disney has tapped Robert Stromberg to make his feature directorial debut on Maleficent, the Linda Woolverton-scripted revisionist take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that is being constructed as a star vehicle for Angelina Jolie to play the villainess. While Stromberg is new to the director’s chair, he is no stranger to dealing with big-ticket spectacle films. He has been production designer on Avatar and Alice In Wonderland, and Disney’s upcoming Oz The Great And Powerful. He also worked on visual effects for such films as 2012, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End and Master And Commander. Joe Roth is producing.

This gives Disney feature heads Sean Bailey and Rich Ross another tentpole feature to complement the Marvel product, with A-list talent. Maleficent stacks up alongside Oz The Great And Powerful, and the Johnny Depp-starrer The Lone Ranger. Stromberg’s repped by UTA.