David O. Russell Circling Disney's 'Maleficent'

 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

David O. Russell has surfaced as one of the directors circling Disney’s fantasy Maleficent, from scribe Linda Woolverton.

Angelina Jolie has long been attached to star as the titular character in the event pic. 

Tim Burton exited the project earlier this year, opening up the director’s spot. Russell is among those now being considered to helm the pic, but insiders stressed there are other names in the mix as well.

Maleficent is a live-action version of the Sleeping Beauty story, told from the point of view of the evil witch.

Russell's calendar opened up when he parted ways last month with Columbia Pictures, where he was attached to direct Unchartered Drake's Fortune, based on the popular video game. Russell, who wrote a draft of the script for Unchartered, told THR Monday night at a charity benefit that the split was over creative differences.

Russell is repped by CAA.

Email: Pamela.McClintock@thr.com

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