On May 12, 2009, it was revealed that Brad Bird was developing a live-action motion picture based on Sleeping Beauty, retold from the point of view of Maleficent with Angelina Jolie starring as Maleficent. In January 2010, it was rumored that Tim Burton was to direct the film. Reports surfaced online in May 2011 stating that Burton had left the project to focus on his other upcoming projects; Disney began to look for a replacement director, with David Yates being cited as a potential candidate due to his experience with the fantasy genre, having directed the final four Harry Potter films. Linda Woolverton, who previously collaborated with Tim Burton on Alice in Wonderland, is writing the script for the movie.[not in citation given] Angelina Jolie has confirmed that she will play the role. On January 6, 2012, Disney announced that Robert Stromberg, the Academy-Award winning production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, will direct the film.
Sharlto Copley was recently named as the male lead for Stromberg’s live action retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale. Heat Vision also reports that Imelda Staunton and Miranda Richardson have been cast for the film, along with Kenneth Cranham, Sam Riley, and Lesley Manville.
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s blog article, Staunton and Manville will be playing the characters of Knotgrass and Flittle, respectively, “two of the three pixies that end up taking care of Aurora.” Heat Vision’s report confirms that Super 8 starlet Elle Fanning will play the role of the aforementioned Princess. In the role of Queen Ulla, Richardson will be acting as “a Fairy Queen who is Maleficent’s aunt with a dislike of her niece.” Meanwhile Cranham will play the human king who plots to conquer the fairy kingdom, and Riley will portray Diaval, “a raven who changes into human form and is Maleficent’s right hand.” The source also mentions Copley’s gig in the lead of Stefan, describing his role as “the half-human, half-fairy bastard son of the human king.”