Burton Departs “Maleficient”, Yates To Replace?

Tim Burton has departed “Maleficent”, the live-action feature based on the villain from Disney’s 1959 animated feature “Sleeping Beauty” reports Heat Vision.

Much liked “Wicked” told the Wizard of Oz tale from the antagonist’s point of view, “Maleficent” will do the same for “Sleeping Beauty”. The original ‘Beauty’ was only modestly received, praised mostly for its artwork and for the Maleficent character – an evil queen that morphs into a dragon.

Burton was only ever loosely attached to the project, but was close enough that his “Alice in Wonderland” scribe Linda Woolverton was hired to pen the script which was being developed as a starring vehicle for Angelina Jolie.

With the hunt now on for a new director, one name that has already surfaced is David Yates, who helmed the last four films in the “Harry Potter” series.