Tim Burton departs Disney’s Angelina Jolie fantasy ‘Maleficent’

Burton will not direct Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' story

Tim Burton has departed the forthcoming Disney fantasy Maleficent, which would have seen him direct Angelina Jolie.

The in-development project is a live-action version of the Sleeping Beauty story, told from the point of view of the evil witch. Disney has long-since named the witch as Maleficent, who threatened to kill the princess before transforming into a dragon. Jolie is in the frame to play the lead.

According to Hollywoodreporter.com, Burton had only been tentatively attached to the project, yet his involvement had been enough to spur Disney into hiring his Alice In Wonderland collaborator Linda Woolverton to write the script.

The studio will now search for another director in a bid to keep the project moving. Harry Potter director David Yates is said to be in the frame.

Burton will continue to work with Disney, however. He is currently working on a full-length stop-motion version of his 1984 short Frankenweenie.