Loosely based on Walt Disney’s 1959 animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, and also a spinoff of the Charles Perrault fairy tale, Maleficent, although not terribly successful with critics, went on to earn a whopping $758.5 million at the global box office, making a sequel to the 2014 dark fantasy a foregone conclusion.
Later this year, the pic is scheduled to begin production and already we know that Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning will be reprising their roles, ready to do battle with an all-new villain – who’ll be played by Deadpool actor Ed Skrein. With its big bad now set, casting has turned towards other key roles and today, we’re hearing that Disney has roped in a truly legendary actress for the part of the queen, with Michelle Pfeiffer said to be in talks for the job.
Details beyond that are scarce, and it’s unclear where the Joe Roth-produced film will pick up in terms of its plot, but we know that the studio has re-enlisted Linda Woolverton, who penned the first movie, and Jez Butterworth (Black Mass, Edge of Tomorrow), to ensure its success. That’s just as well, too, as if anyone can crack the story here, it’s Woolverton.
She’s a legendary Disney scribe who wrote two of the studio’s most coveted animated features: Best Picture nominee Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. More recently, she penned Tim Burton’s revisionist Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass.
As for Pfeiffer, well, the Oscar nominated actress really needs no introduction. She’s one of the best in the biz and even though she’s pushing 60, she’s still keeping pretty busy. We last saw her in Murder on the Orient Express and in just a few months, Pfeiffer will have a pretty sizable role in Ant-Man and the Wasp as the original Wasp.
It’s fair to say that she’d bring a lot to a project like Maleficent 2 and once we have more details, including a release date for the pic, we’ll be sure to let you know.