It’s turning out to be a very exciting month for District 9 star Sharlto Copley. He recently landed the villain role in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake, he’s poised to star in the thriller Open Grave, and now he’s set in a starring role opposite Angelina Jolie in a tentpole Disney release. Deadline reports that Copley is in talks to play the male lead in the Mouse House’s Maleficent. He’ll play the character of King Stefan in the pic, which tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s point of view.
We heard in March that the very talented Elle Fanning was in talks to star as the do-gooder princess, but this latest report makes no mention of the actress. It’s possible that she’s still in negotiations, or things might have gone south and she’s now out of the project completely. Nevertheless, production is set to begin next month in London under the direction of Robert Stromberg, the production designer of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland who is making his feature directorial debut with the fantasy pic. Maleficent is slated for March 14th, 2014.