Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UPDATED: Production Starts On Disney's Live Action 'Maleficent' Starring Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie in Disney's Maleficent
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar is delivering their animated prequel to Monsters Inc. next year, but that won't be the only one coming up for Disney.  Walt Disney Pictures is giving us a prequel to Sleeping Beauty with Maleficent.  Just like Wicked gave us "The untold story of the witches of Oz," Maleficent is giving us, "The untold story of Disney's most beloved Villain."  At least they took a tag line that worked.

Take the jump to read the full press release.

BURBANK, Calif., June 19, 2012 -- The Walt Disney Studios announced today that production began Wednesday, June 13th, on "Maleficent," starring Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie.

Directed by two-time Oscar®-winning production designer Robert Stromberg ("Avatar," "Alice in Wonderland"), in his directorial debut,and produced by Joe Roth, "Maleficent" is written by Linda Woolverton ("The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast") and executive produced by Angelina Jolie, Don Hahn, Matt Smith and Palak Patel. 

Co-starring in the film are Sharlto Copley ("District 9"), Elle Fanning ("Super 8"), Sam Riley ("On the Road"), Imelda Staunton ("Vera Drake"), Miranda Richardson ("The Hours"), Juno Temple ("Atonement") and Lesley Manville ("Secrets & Lies"). 

This is the untold story of Disney's most beloved villain, Maleficent, from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." The film reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora. 

Behind-the-scenes talent includes Academy Award®-winning cinematographer Dean Semler ("Dances with Wolves," "In the Land of Blood and Honey"), production designer Gary Freeman ("Saving Private Ryan," "The Bourne Supremacy"), two-time Oscar® nominated costume designer Anna B. Sheppard ("Schindler's List," "The Pianist") and seven-time Academy Award-winning makeup artist Rick Baker ("Planet of the Apes," "Men in Black").

"Maleficent" is scheduled for a March 14, 2014 release in 3D. 

While some may be wondering if this will work, many of us thought that a re-imagining of Snow White with a bad actress would tank.  We couldn't have been more wrong.  Plus, Disney fans will eat this up because it is coming directly from the mouse house with a great actress in the starring role.  The question is whether or not fans of Sleeping Beauty will appreciate this new companion the way that Wizard of Oz fans appreciated Wicked.  We'll have to wait until 2014 to find out.

Several pictures from the set of Maleficent hit the internets today.  This time we get to Maleficent roaming the country side with, what I'm guessing, are evil cows.  Everyone knows Maleficent started as an evil cattle rustler.

                                                                       Credit: Splash

What say you?

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Jungle Jesse

Source: Walt Disney Studios

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