Disney is putting a reboot spin on one of its classic villains this summer with the Sleeping Beauty origin story Maleficent, and in order to bring the right mix of sympathy and terror to the titular character, the studio knew it needed a fearless actress to take on the role. The Mouse House settled on Angelina Jolie to fill the shoes horns of the character, though in a new interview the actress admits she had a little apprehension herself. It was after she gathered her own kids around for story time and told them this new origin story for Maleficent that she became convinced it was a worthwhile endeavor, as the next day she overheard one of her children getting into a fight with another child, proclaiming he just “didn’t understand” Maleficent.
This tidbit and more were revealed in a recent interview with EW, along with a new image from the film that shows Jolie acting opposite her daughter Vivienne. Hit the jump to check out the image and for a couple of other highlights from the interview.
Disney has released a new trailer for the live-action Sleeping Beauty reimaging, Maleficent. The film tells the famous fairy tale from the perspective of the eponymous villain, played by Angelina Jolie. There was a new trailer last week, and while it was good, I like this one better because it puts the emphasis on the eye-catching visuals, which isn’t too surprising when you consider that the director is Robert Stromberg, who earned Oscars for his art direction on Alice in Wonderland and Avatar. It also looks like Jolie is having a blast with the role without chewing the scenery.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in 3D on May 30th.
If you’ve yet to check out writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, what are you waiting for? The film hit shelves on Blu-ray/DVD on January 14th, rendering the “it’s not playing anywhere near me” excuse invalid. I had the opportunity to watch it last weekend and I was blown away. Much has been made of Brie Larson‘s performance and for good reason: it’s terrific. She’s not alone in that regard, though. The turns by Kaitlyn Dever and Keith Stanfield are nothing short of excellent and, in particular, a scene between Stanfield and John Gallagher Jr. in which Stanfield’s character, Marcus, bares his emotional scars via an original rap verse is equal parts heartbreaking and jaw-dropping. Watching Short Term 12 is an emotional roller coaster. You’ll laugh, cry, feel anger, love, hope, and despair. You’ll catch a glimpse of just how lonely a life can be and, at the same time, appreciate how opening ourselves up to the possibility of trust and love is a powerful decision that doesn’t come easily for all of us.
My Blu-ray/DVD recommendation of the week in the books, this week’s Top 5 highlights all of our Sundance 2014 coverage to date, a new trailer for The Raid 2 (including Matt’s Sundance review), Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight script leak, a new trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and a variety of news from the Star Wars: Episode VII camp. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
A new trailer for Disney’s live-action adaptation Maleficent is now available online. Angelina Jolie stars in the title role in this new look at an old nemesis from the Sleeping Beauty classic. Director Robert Stromberg’s film goes back to Maleficent’s roots as a fierce protector of the land against an invading army, before a betrayal turns her heart to stone. It’s certainly an interesting take on a classic villain, but time will tell how audiences react to this new wrinkle in the tale.
The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in theaters on May 30, 2014. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
I finally got the chance to check out Thor: The Dark World earlier this week and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did its 2011 predecessor, I had a good time with the movie and want to take a few lines here to share my impressions. First and foremost, it’s funny. As you might expect, Kat Dennings is great as Darcy. That said, it’s odd to label her as the comic relief given all of the levity provided by other characters throughout the film when she is nowhere to be found. Also, as you’re probably even more inclined to expect, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki and chews up virtually every second of screen time that he’s allotted. On the other hand, what the film had in humor it lacked in drama, conflict, tension, and/or just answers in general. Who are the Dark Elves and why do they insist on everyone living in darkness? What is the Aether and why is it a death sentence for some and a source of all-encompassing power for others? It’s like I walked into the movie 15 minutes late although I’m sure I was seated in time and watched the entire thing. In other words, see Thor: The Dark World for the 112 minute escape that it is and you should be fine. Expect to come out of it with some idea of how and why everything happened outside of just pure coincidence and you’re setting yourself up for frustration.
My one paragraph review aside, this week’s Top 5 includes the first trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, our visit to the set of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, a series of Super Mario Bros. short films that you may love or that may leave you scratching your head, the first teaser trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, and the uplifting story of BatKid fighting crime in San Francisco. As is routine, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Disney has released the first teaser trailer for Maleficent. Directed by Robert Stromberg, the film is a reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty story told from the villain’s point of view. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent, a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman who becomes the protector of her village when an invading army threatens its harmony. Following a brutal betrayal, Maleficent becomes bent on revenge and her pure heart begins to turn to stone, paving the way for the story that plays out in Sleeping Beauty. This first trailer is very much a teaser in that we only get quick glimpses of Jolie as the titular character, with the focus actually turning to Elle Fanning as the young Aurora. It’s very clear from this trailer that the film will be in the vein of Disney’s other CG-heavy fantasy pics Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful (Stromberg served as production designer on both), but I’m interested to see how the arc of Jolie’s character plays out.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out some new images. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.
Disney has released the first poster for the upcoming Sleeping Beauty redo Maleficent, and it’s fittingly all about Angelina Jolie’s titular character. The film tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the villain, and it’s the first in a string of live-action adaptations of classic Disney stories set to hit theaters over the next few years (it will be followed by Cinderella and Cruella). The first trailer will be released online this Wednesday, November 13th at 9am EST, so we’ll have a good idea of what to expect at that time. Robert Stromberg, the Oscar-winning production designer of Alice in Wonderland and Avatar, makes his feature directorial debut on the film.
Hit the jump to take a closer look at the poster, and check back here tomorrow morning to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Leslie Manville. Maleficent opens on May 30, 2014.
Disney’s Maleficent is poised to kick off a series of live-action adaptations of the studio’s classic cartoons (to be followed by Cinderella and Cruella), but it appears that the studio still has some tweaking to do on the Sleeping Beauty redo. Robert Stromberg, who won two Oscars as the production designer of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, makes his directorial debut on Maleficent, which finds Angelina Jolie playing the title role. The pic tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the villain, and it’s a pretty major film on which to cut one’s teeth as a feature film director.
The Mouse House is going back to do some reshoots in order to rework the film’s opening scenes, and though Stromberg will be directing, Disney is bringing in The Blind Side and The Alamo director John Lee Hancock to oversee the additional filming. Hit the jump for more.
Disney has made a couple of significant release date shifts in its upcoming calendar, one of which could mean that 2014 will pass entirely without a new Pixar movie. Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which just recently saw director Bob Peterson removed from the project, has been moved off its May 30, 2014 date and pushed over a year and a half to November 25, 2015. This is a massive change and, barring another move from Pixar, could mean that 2014 will be the first year since 2005 without a new Pixar movie. This isn’t an altogether surprising move, since The Good Dinosaur only just lost its director this summer with only nine months to go before the film’s planned release. The pic still doesn’t have a firm replacement director, but now Pixar can comfortably move forward without the stress and rush of getting TGD into theaters in a matter of months.
Hit the jump for more release date shift news, including Finding Dory and Maleficent. [Update: Disney has also announced that The Fifth Estate will now open on October 18th wide and the sports drama McFarland has been dated for November 21, 2014.]
At last weekend’s D23, I landed a video interview with Maleficent director Robert Stromberg. While this is Stromberg’s first time behind the camera, he’s no stranger to big-budget Hollywood movies. He’s served as production designer on films like Avatar, Alice in Wonderland (he won the Academy Award for Art Direction on both films), and most recently worked on Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Maleficent tells “the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain” and stars Angelina Jolie as the title character with Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, and Sam Riley in supporting roles.
During the interview Stromberg talked about what he learned from Sam Raimi, James Cameron, and other directors, how he got involved in the project, the tone, when he knew he wanted to be a director, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Disney wrapped its live-action presentation at the D23 convention earlier today, and shortly after the panel ended the studio unveiled title treatments for some of its upcoming films. Briefly:
- Tomorrowland – Directed by Brad Bird and written by Bird and Damon Lindelof, this secretive film stars George Clooney as an unspecified inventor. Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, and Thomas Robinson also star, and the “action-packed adventure” hits theaters on December 12, 2014.
- Maleficent – A reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty story told from the villain’s point of view. Angelina Jolie stars as the title character for director Robert Stromberg. Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, and Sam Riley also star, and the film opens on July 2, 2014.
- Muppets Most Wanted – The James Bobin-directed sequel stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell and opens in theaters on March 21, 2014.
- Saving Mr. Banks – Director John Lee Hancock’s film tells the true story behind the making of Mary Poppins as Tom Hanks portrays Walt Disney and Emma Thompson plays Poppins author P.L. Travers. The film opens wide this coming December 20th.
Hit the jump to check out the logos and click here to catch up on all of our D23 coverage thus far.
From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience. When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting. In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.
At the film’s press day, Collider got the opportunity to speak with producer Joe Roth during both the press conference and a 1-on-1 interview about how this project came about, his prior experience with the original The Wizard of Oz film, how involved he was in shaping which Baum tales they would blend together to tell this origin story, how important it was to center the film around a flawed hero, why Sam Raimi was the right director, assembling this talented cast, and the most challenging aspects of such a big production. He also talked about the high-risk and high-reward involved in taking on such iconic characters (he’s done it with Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White), their spin on the Sleeping Beauty story for Maleficent and how crucial the casting of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning was, how they’re approaching the Alice in Wonderland sequel, and that he hopes to go into production on a very low-budget movie based on the book Heaven is for Real in the summer. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Disney has announced a slew of release date changes. Briefly:
Hit the jump for more details, including the confirmation of George Clooney in 1952 and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. [Update: Brad Bird has now stated via Twitter that 3D has not been discussed for 1952, so Disney's press release may have been mistaken. This doesn't mean the film absolutely won't be in 3D, just that Bird hasn't OK'd it yet.]
Little Birds is an indie drama that follows 15-year-old Lily (Juno Temple) and her best friend Alison (Kay Panabaker), who live in a rundown trailer park on the shores of the Salton Sea. When they meet a trio of visiting street kids, Lily’s rebelliousness kicks in and she convinces Alison to follow the boys to Los Angeles, but once there, they quickly fall into the boys’ world of scams and petty crime. While Lily is determined to stay and make it work, her actions threaten to tear apart her friendship with Alison. Written and directed by Elgin James, the film also stars Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Kyle Gallner and Neal McDonough.
At the film’s press day, actress Juno Temple spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what attracted her to the script and character, learning that the writer/director wanted her for either of the lead roles, how much she enjoyed working with co-star Kay Panabaker, what it was like to spend time in the Salton Sea, and why she’s more comfortable with sexuality in film than violence. She also talked about the appeal of big studio movies versus smaller indies, what attracted her to the role of a fairy named Thistletwit in Maleficent (starring Angelina Jolie in the title role), which she starts shooting soon, and the experience of working with director Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories concerning relative newcomers to share this afternoon. First up, Disney announced today that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter Vivienne will appear in a minor role in the big-budget fantasy pic Maleficent. Jolie stars in the film as the titular Disney villain, and the film focuses on “the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora. Vivienne will be playing the child version of Princess Aurora, as Elle Fanning stars as the older version of the heroine. Vivienne turned four years old this past July.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Charlotte Riley, who was a contender for the Catwoman role in The Dark Knight Rises.