EXCLUSIVE: If Joe Roth were any more closely associated with fairy tales, he’d be one of the Grimm Brothers. Roth, who help start Hollywood’s feverish devotion to fairy tale films by producing the $1 billion-grossing Alice in Wonderland, is negotiating to become producer of Maleficent, Disney’s re-telling of its 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty, this time told from the vantage point of the evil witch. It’s no secret that Angelina Jolie wants to play that character. The script was written by Linda Woolverton, who scripted Alice in Wonderland as well as Disney’s recently re-released The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. They are looking for a director after a preliminary courtship of Alice helmer Tim Burton didn’t work out.
Aside from Alice in Wonderland, Roth is producing Disney’s Sam Raimi-directed Disney pic Oz: The Great and Powerful with James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, the Universal Pictures epic that is being directed by Rupert Sanders and stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.