Disney has released the first Maleficent featurette. The film tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the titular villain (Angelina Jolie), and how a betrayal sets off a drive for revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides. This featurette features interviews with Jolie, Elle Fanning (who plays the Princess Aurora), screenwriter Linda Woolverton (The Lion King), and director Robert Stromberg (the two-time Oscar winning art director of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland). Their interviews help provide a few more details about the story, and the featurette also has some bits of new footage.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in 2D and 3D on May 30th.
When a movie grosses over a billion dollars in the worldwide box office, like Disney’s Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, you can pretty much guarantee a sequel is on the way. That seems to be the case for Alice, because screenwriter Linda Woolverton is reportedly penning the sequel. Woolverton wrote the original Tim Burton picture, which starred Mia Wasikowska in the title role and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Her latest effort, Maleficent, is currently in post-production. Variety reports that she also wrote the script for a stage play and musical adaptation of the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, which is to be directed by Rob Ashford. The sequel’s details are obviously being kept under wraps, but keep an eye on this one for future developments. Hit the jump to see the trailer and poster from the original film.
Disney, never one to shy from striking while the iron is hot, appears to be revving up production on Maleficent, the story from the perspective of the wicked fairy godmother that casts a spell on Sleeping Beauty, and a key actor may play the villain. Angelina Jolie, who has been rumored to star in every film in pre-production, is reportedly interested in playing the antagonist according to the LA Times, and it would mark a change of pace from her action-oriented film roles of late. If Disney could land Jolie, it would mark a potential headliner that might see the repeat of the success of Tim Burton’s recent smash Alice in Wonderland. In fact, Burton was rumored to be eyeing the project not long ago, while Disney just tabbed Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) to begin drafting the screenplay for the live-action project earlier this week.
For more detail on the project, including a further explanation of the Sleeping Beauty mythos and why Disney is so hot on retelling old stories from a different perspective, hit the jump.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland continues to rake it fat stacks of cash, so it’s only natural that the film’s screenwriter Linda Woolverton would once again team with Disney. This time, the classic tale is that of Sleeping Beauty, or rather, the 1959 animated Sleeping Beauty‘s villain, the evil queen Maleficent. The plan is to make a live-action adaptation where the Sleeping Beauty story would be told from Maleficent’s perspective. Heat Vision explains that it would be “offering a new take on a classic tale as she did with Lewis Carrol’s Alice.” I take that to mean the original tale is good where as her new take would be bad.
As much as I ragged on Burton’s creative stagnation in my review, I feel that the larger culprit was Woolverton’s script and crafting Alice as a borderline inert protagonist who’s shepherded by various characters for stakes she doesn’t even think are real for most of the movie. Granted, Woolverton also wrote better Disney films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. And if in doubt on this project, she can look over to Wicked, which is also a classic tale told from the villain’s perspective.
As for whether Tim Burton will reunite with Woolverton, Heat Vision confirms Aint It Cool’s report from January that it’s one of the projects the director is circling.
For more details on the character Maleficent, hit the jump.