Maleficent kicked off a new wave of live-action Disney films based on their iconic animated films. While it’s had a sequel announced/talked about for some time now, filming has officially started. For fans who loved the first film the most important thing about today’s production announcement is the first synopsis that gives us an idea of what to expect from the story:
A fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora, “Maleficent II” continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
I like that it’s picking up a few years from the first film and that it will continue exploring the fantasy lore they introduced in the first film (easily my favorite aspect of the movie). There’s no release date given, but at least the cast is pretty stellar:
Production has begun on “Maleficent II,” a sequel to the 2014 global box office hit “Maleficent,” at Pinewood Studios and on locations throughout the U.K.. Oscar® and three-time Golden Globe® winner Angelina Jolie (“Girl, Interrupted,” “Wanted”) and Elle Fanning (“The Beguiled,” “Super 8”) reprise their roles as the dark fairy Maleficent and Princess Aurora, respectively, two characters from the studio’s animated classic “Sleeping Beauty,” whose untold story was brought to life on screen in “Maleficent.”
Michelle Pfeiffer (“Murder on the Orient Express,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp”), the Golden Globe® Award winning, Emmy® nominated and three-time Academy Award® nominated actress, joins the cast as Queen Ingrith. Also joining the production are Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Doctor Strange,” “12 Years a Slave”), Ed Skrein (“Deadpool,” “Game of Thrones”) and Robert Lindsay (“My Family,” “Wimbledon”). Harris Dickinson (“The Darkest Minds,” “Trust”) joins “Maleficent II” as Prince Phillip.
“Maleficent II” is directed by Joachim Rønning (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Kon-Tiki”) and written by Linda Woolverton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster (“Transparent”). The producers are Joe Roth (“Alice through the Looking Glass,” “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Maleficent”) and Angelina Jolie.
Additional cast members returning from the 2014 film include: Sam Riley (“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “Control”) as Diaval; Oscar® nominee Imelda Staunton (“Pride,” the “Harry Potter” films) as the pixie Knotgrass; Juno Temple (“Wonder Wheel,” “Atonement”) as the pixie Thistlewit; and Academy Award® nominee Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread,” “Topsy-Turvy”) as the pixie Flittle.