We recently reported that Angelina Jolie had settled on Disney’s Maleficent as her next movie, and now it looks like producers have found their protagonist. Jolie has long been attached to play the powerful villain in the pic, and now Twitch reports that Elle Fanning is in talks to Princess Aurora, “the young beauty sent into a lengthy slumber in the classic tale.” Jolie no doubt has a meaty character to dive into, but I think Fanning is an inspired choice for the princess. The actress has come into her own as of late with turns in Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought a Zoo and Francis Ford Coppola‘s Twixt, but I was particularly impressed by her work in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. She has a youthful innocence that goes hand in hand with her emotional maturity, and it’ll be interesting to see her stretch in the fantasy film.
Robert Stromberg is making his feature directorial debut on the project, but his resume as a production designer on films like Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful promise that he’s got a vast imagination to bring to the table. Not many plot details are known about the project other than the fact that it tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s perspective. If Fanning signs on, expect more casting announcements soon.
Update: THR reports that Maleficent will start shooting this June in London.