Director Darren Aronofsky is still a free agent, in the wake of his departure from The Wolverine. He’s recently been connected to the long-gestating sci-fi project, Human Nature, but nothing is official on that front just yet.
Now the Black Swan filmmaker is being pursued by major players Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros. to helm their own in-development projects: the fairy tale spin-off Maleficent and biblical film Moses, respectively.
Tim Burton was previously loosely attached to direct Maleficent with Angelina Jolie in the lead, but the Gothic auteur has dropped out of contention – presumably to focus more on his upcoming features, Dark Shadows and a stop-motion adaptation of his short, Frankenweenie, for Disney. Burton’s Alice in Wonderland screenwriter, Linda Woolverton is presumably still scripting Maleficent.
Maleficent purports to tell the story of the slumbering Princess Aurora from the perspective of the titular sorceress – so it’s essentially to Sleeping Beauty what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. That may not read as a film right up Aronofsky’s alley, but then again, neither did the Wolverine sequel at first glance.
It should also be pointed out that Aronofsky cited personal concerns about being separated from his family as the official reason he parted ways with Fox on The Wolverine. A big-budget project that would likely be shot on location in the States (like Maleficent) might be a relatively more comfortable undertaking for the director, in that regard alone.
In its scoop on Aronofksy, Badass Digest pointed out that Warner Bros.’ Moses seems a bit more like Aronofsky’s “thing” on paper. The director is turning his Noah screenplay into a comic book, with the hopes that it will pave the way for a film adaptation (a la The Fountain) – so he might have an interest in directing a contemporary re-envisioning of an Old Testament story as well.
Unlike previous films based around the character of Moses (see: The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt), Warner Bros.’ new project will focus specifically on the Exodus – when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt to freedom in the desert, where they wandered for several decades. The movie is being produced by Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes), which may or may not reflect on what exactly studio heads have in mind for the tone and design of Moses.
Aronofsky definitely has a thing for making films about tragic figures whose hopes and dreams of a better life ultimately fail to come to fruition (see: Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler) – and although Moses doesn’t fit squarely into that character box, he’s definitely in the same ballpark.
Then again: Maleficent would allow Aronofsky the opportunity to craft a darker character piece about an individual whose obsession (in this case, with a princess) ultimately ends up destroying them – and that sounds like the kind of gig the director might be interested in as well. However, creative control might be a factor too, since Aronofsky could possibly have more of that with Moses than he would on this particular Disney project.
Chances are nonetheless still good that Aronofsky won’t take on either Maleficent or Moses, when all is said and done. We’ll let you know when he’s made an actual decision on the matter.
Source: Badass Digest