David O Russell could direct Disneys live-action Maleficent

david o. russell

Tim Burton’s departure from Disney’s live-action Sleeping Beauty update Maleficent has left the studio scouring LA for a new director.

The latest name out of the hat is David O Russell, who’s been unofficially attached to all manner of high profile projects ever since he bagged that Oscar nom for The Fighter .

Russell’s reportedly up against Darren Aronofsky and Harry Potter ’s David Yates for the gig, though an official list of contenders has yet to be fully disclosed.

Meanwhile, Russell has cleared up why he left videogame adap Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune , chalking it up to creative differences.

“What can I say, I waded into those waters of the tentpole movies,” he says, “and I wrote what I wanted to write, and I feel like I wrote my vision.

“And the rest is up to those guys. I can’t pick for those guys. I don’t know what they want to do over there. It’s just a parting of the ways creatively.”

Whatever Russell decides to take on next, he’ll be under a lot scrutiny thanks to that Oscar-raised profile.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.