Loosely based on Walt Disney’s 1959 animated feature, Sleeping Beauty, and considered a spinoff of the Charles Perrault fairy tale, Maleficent, although not as successful with critics, went on to earn a magical $758.5 million at the box office, making a sequel to the 2014 dark fantasy a foregone conclusion.
Later this year, the pic is scheduled to begin production and Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning will be reprising their roles, ready to do battle with an all-new villain. And, as it turns out, that antagonist will be a familiar face for fans of Marvel’s foul-mouthed merc.
That’s because Variety has learned this week that Deadpool actor Ed Skrein is in final negotiations to join Disney’s Maleficent sequel as the flick’s big bad. Details regarding Skrein’s role are scarce at the moment, but we do know that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales helmer Joachim Ronning will direct.
It’s unclear where the Joe Roth-produced film will pick up, but Disney has re-enlisted Linda Woolverton, who penned the first movie, and Jez Butterworth (Black Mass, Edge of Tomorrow), to ensure its success. After all, 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 Skrein, he got his big break as Ryan Reynolds’ scourge in the first Deadpool movie and is also known for his portrayal of Daario Naharis in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Later this year, Skrein will co-star alongside a pair of Academy Award winners, Christoph Waltz and Mahershala Ali, in Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, co-written by James Cameron.
Maleficent 2 does not have a release date as of yet, but as soon as we learn more, we’ll be sure to let you know.