This is some pretty disappointing news. Tim Burton has dropped out as the director of the Sleeping Beauty inspired film Maleficent. The screenplay of which was written by Linda Woolverton who also wrote Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. The film also has Angelina Jolie attached to play the lead villainous character Maleficent.
There were no reasons given as to why he is not longer directing the film, but he is still working with Disney, and he's currently developing the feature-length stop-motion version of his 1984 short, Frankenweenie. I'm kind of bummed Burton dropped out of the film, I was really looking forward to seeing what he would do with it.
The film takes the classic story of Sleeping beauty but puts a focus on the famous villain. The whole story will be told from her point of view. Maleficent is definitely one of the most evil villains from Disney. I imagine the film will explore her deep hatred for the people of the Kingdom in which Princess Aurora lived, and what caused that hatred, and made her want to kill the princess.
Disney is not abandoning this project, in fact they've already started hunting down a new director to fill Burton's shoes. According to THR director David Yates is one of the names that have popped up as a possible choice. He is the director of the last four Harry Potter movies, and I think he would be a great choice.
What are your thoughts on Burton leaving the film project? Who would you like to see come in and replace him?