'Maleficent' Sequel Lands 'Pirates Of The Caribbean 5' Director Joachim Rønning

Disney began moving forward on a Maleficent sequel not long after the hit Sleeping Beauty reimagining, but since then it has been slow going. Angelina Jolie has been in place to return, and now the film has a director in Joachim Rønning, who Disney knows well from co-directing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

What's interesting about this is that Rønning is flying solo, rather than teaming up with his usual partner, Espen Sandberg. The duo broke out with their Oscar-nominated film, Kon-Tiki, which helped them land the 'Pirates' gig. But it appears there has been a breaking of that partnership. Rønning has been agreeing to other jobs without Sandberg, like his upcoming adaptation of Michael Crichton's book, Micro.

Back to Maleficent 2, the film has a script by Linda Woolverton and Jez Butterworth, with shooting expected to begin early next year. That pushes it right up against Universal's Bride of Frankenstein, which has been courting Jolie for months. She's committed to Disney's sequel so it looks like Universal will have to find another A-list star to join their Dark Universe flick. [Deadline]