Disney has released the first trailer for director Robert Stromberg’s re-imagining of the animated classic Sleeping Beauty, titled Maleficent. The film centers around a pure-hearted, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) who rises to be the villages fiercest protector during a time of war, but when she suffers a ruthless betrayal, her pure heart begins to turn to stone. Which leads to the events of Sleeping Beauty.
I like the idea of twisting fantasy tales and exposing the other side of the coin, the villains are generally the more interesting characters in these stories. It seems clear that Disney wanted a stylized take consistent with Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful, (the Disney film factory is amazingly efficient) hence Stromberg making his debut behind the camera as he worked on those films as a production designer. If they can make Jolie’s Maleficent as interesting as Charlize Theron’s villainous Queen Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman we should (worst-case) see an entertaining visual film.
Seeing Paul Dini as a writer is a huge plus for me, he has spent most of his career working in DC animation and created the character Harley Quinn and credited with turning Mr. Freeze into an top-tier Batman villain.
The cast features Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville.