Fairy tale re-imaginings have been all the rage as of late. From Broadway’s super hit ‘Wicked’ to TV’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Grimm’ to ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Mirror, Mirror’, ‘Beastly’, and many others in theaters, everybody is jumping on their versions of classic stories. Not to be upstaged on the fairy tale front where they thrive, Disney has been moving forward with their ‘Wicked’-esque tale about the Mistress of All Evil from Walt’s adaptation of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ titled ‘Maleficent’. Today, the film moves even more forward as Angelina Jolie announced at the Berlin International Film Festival that she would be taking part in this project next.
While she didn’t flat out say it, Jolie had this to say at a news conference at the festival, where she is promoting her feature directorial debut ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’: “I haven’t acted in two years, and I haven’t done anything else since [Land of Blood and Honey]. The next thing I am looking at is a Disney movie.” The last film we saw Angelina in was ‘The Tourist’, but audiences heard her voice in last year’s ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’. She has also been attached to ‘Maleficent’ since news of the project hit the internet a while back.
Previously, Tim Burton was attached to direct the film, but his slate filled up rather quickly. Then, it was said that ‘Harry Potter’ director David Yates looked to be the favorite choice considering that he too is no stranger to a darker subject matter. Last month, Robert Stromberg, predominantly known for his visual effects and production design work, landed the job and the director’s chair.
The script is written by Linda Woolverton, a frequent Disney collaborator. She wrote the screenplay for cherished Disney classics ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’. She also wrote the Broadway version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. ‘Maleficent’ tells the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ from the villainess’ point of view.
The Hollywood Reporter informs us that production could get under way as early as the end of the year or early next year. I for one think that they can’t start soon enough. Maleficent is arguably the most sinister villain in the entire Disney universe. I’m looking forward to seeing her take center stage in a movie of her own.