Is Tim Burton Making Sleeping Beauty’s MALEFICENT His Next Project

     January 19, 2010


With Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland finally set to come out March 5 (that crazy Cheshire cat is already burned on my brain from the trailers alone), it seems he may already have his sights set on another Disney fairy tale – but, of course, from his own twisted viewpoint.

AICN is reporting he may – sort of – turn his attentions next to Sleeping Beauty, but instead of just putting his own dark touch on the original, he would transform it to be told from the viewpoint of Maleficent, the “mistress of all evil” who is the movie’s antagonist and would go on to appear in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and other Disney offerings. The movie would, in fact, be called Maleficent.

Personally, I think this sounds like great news, if it actually happens. When he coasts through by-the-numbers remakes like Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Burton seems as genuinely uninterested in making them as I was in watching them, but when he really bites into something classic and makes it his own, his movies can be a heck of a lot of fun. And it would certainly give Helena Bonham Carter something wild to play with.  Hit the jump to find out what else Tim Burton has on his plate, and of course let us know if you think Maleficent the movie would be a good idea or not.

tim_burton.jpgThough Maleficent is the latest rumored project for Tim Burton to direct, there are two others that might happen first.

He is also at least in “pre-production” on a stop motion, feature length version of his own 1984 short film Frankenweenie for Disney. More interesting than that would be Dark Shadows, based on the 1960’s TV show. It’s been announced that Johnny Depp would both star as Barnabas Collins and serve as executive producer for the movie, but those plans have been delayed for at least a little while. TV-to-movie transformations generally bore me to tears (when I bother to watch them at all), but the cheesily weird world of Dark Shadows would certainly give Burton’s imagination a lot of room to roam.

But getting back to Maleficent for a second, Slashfilm reported a while back (via the seriously Disney obsessed Jim Hill Media) that Disney has in fact already registered the domain name, though it is of course empty right now. As Jim Hill’s initial report made very clear, Disney and other studios register all kinds of domain names just to protect them, not necessarily because they are ready to greenlight a movie right away.

And on a personal note, I can report that the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is well worth a visit if you don’t mind being surrounded by hordes of excitable children. It has all kinds of character sketches from his various movies and odd artifacts from the different sets, and it’s just a fun way to get into Tim Burton’s mind for a little while – a place I’m not sure I’d want to live, but still a great place to visit (it runs until the first week of April.)


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