ALICE IN WONDERLAND Screenwriter Summons Evil Queen MALEFICENT for Live-Action Film

     March 23, 2010


Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland continues to rake it fat stacks of cash, so it’s only natural that the film’s screenwriter Linda Woolverton would once again team with Disney.  This time, the classic tale is that of Sleeping Beauty, or rather, the 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty‘s villain, the evil queen Maleficent.  The plan is to make a live-action adaptation where the Sleeping Beauty story would be told from Maleficent’s perspective.  Heat Vision explains that it would be “offering a new take on a classic tale as she did with Lewis Carrol’s Alice.”  I take that to mean the original tale is good where as her new take would be bad.

As much as I ragged on Burton’s creative stagnation in my review, I feel that the larger culprit was Woolverton’s script and crafting Alice as a borderline inert protagonist who’s shepherded by various characters for stakes she doesn’t even think are real for most of the movie.  Granted, Woolverton also wrote better Disney films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.  And if in doubt on this project, she can look over to Wicked, which is also a classic tale told from the villain’s perspective.

As for whether Tim Burton will reunite with Woolverton, Heat Vision confirms Aint It Cool’s report from January that it’s one of the projects the director is circling.

For more details on the character Maleficent, hit the jump.

Here’s the character’s bio from the Disney Archives:

The evil fairy Maleficent is responsible for all misfortune that befalls Stefan’s kingdom; even the merest killing frost bears her mark. So when only the good fairies are invited to bestow gifts upon the newborn princess Aurora, the slighted sorceress arrives in a thunderclap to bestow her own “gift.” “Before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.” For 16 years, the Forbidden Mountains thunder with wrath and frustration as the meddling good fairies keep Aurora hidden from Maleficent’s searching minions. Beyond a matter of honor, this has become a matter of ego. Her pride, her evil will not be denied. So Maleficent sends her beloved raven to search for Aurora. Just as the curse is about to expire, Maleficent finds her quarry and strikes. Savoring her victory over the weeping good fairies, she gloats, “You poor simple fools, thinking you could defeat me, me! The mistress of all evil.” But Maleficent had best not underestimate her virtuous adversaries. Before the day is done, she’ll have to assume her most fearsome guise, as a fire-breathing dragon, to defend all she’s won.


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