‘Maleficent’ Trailer: Meet Angelina Jolie the Evil Fairy

Published 11 months ago by , Updated April 17th, 2014 at 11:26 pm,

Maleficent is the next installment in Walt Disney Pictures’ digital era live-action fairy tale movie series, which began with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and continued to enjoy success (though not as much $ucce$$) with Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful earlier this year. However, the Mouse House’s Sleeping Beauty film doesn’t have an A-list director; it’s banking on the name of its leading lady, Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie.

Jolie stars as the eponymous malevolent fairy in the Disney film, which introduces us to Maleficent as a teenager (played by Kick-Ass 2 costar Ella Purnell) and goes on to examine her experiences growing up. That includes, the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the innocent Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), as retribution for the wrongful acts that she had suffered over the years.

Basically, Maleficent is Disney’s revisionist take on the classic Sleeping Beauty story, as told from the perspective of its villainess; it’s what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. The screenplay was penned by Linda Woolverton – writer of Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, Mulan and Burton’s Alice retelling – with additional material provided by John Lee Hancock (co-writer of Snow White and the Huntsman and director of Saving Mr. Banks).

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Maleficent Angelina Jolie Poster Maleficent Trailer: Meet Angelina Jolie the Evil Fairy

Maleficent is the directorial debut for Oscar-winning production designer and visual effects artist, Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland). Indeed, the film’s teaser trailer footage is as lush and gorgeously dark as one might imagine, based on its director’s background. Moreover, the scenery appears to be a healthy blend of practical sets and stylized digital elements, creating the impression of a world that is all too real and fantastical at once.

Check out high-quality screenshots from the Maleficent trailer, below:

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Based on what little is shown here, Jolie seems to be channeling the vocal mannerisms of Eleanor Audley, who voiced Maleficent in Disney’s animated Sleeping Beauty feature; a fine decision, if that’s the case. Similarly, Fanning looks to be wise casting too, as far as her playing a princess for the 21st-century (read: more grounded version of Aurora). And this teaser doesn’t even feature the other members of the film’s reputable cast, which includes Sharlto Copley (Oldboy), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter), Imelda Staunton (Another Year), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Juno Temple (Horns).

Of course, whether Maleficent will have the narrative substance to go along with the eye candy and excellent cast, is another matter. Painting villains in a more sympathetic light is in fashion right now, as the popularity of characters such as Loki in the Thor movies is a testament to. There’s certainly potential for Jolie’s evil fairy to wind up being a compelling Shakespearean tragedy case study, but as always we’ll have to wait and see…

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Maleficent opens in U.S. theaters on May 30th, 2014.

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TAGS: maleficent, sleeping beauty

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  1. Does she show her boobs in this one?

    • If you’re referring to Beowulf they were CGI.

      • Or any of the other movies she shows her boobs in… Taking Lives (GREAT SCENE) “***ing inside you was the best moment of my life” (Great line).

        • Gia was CGI too?

          • I’m not quite sure whether John intended to express harmless moviegoer-horniness (of which I would thoroughly approve since I share the ‘sentiment’) by his remark or whether his intention was an entirely different one.

  2. Insert Jolie/Horn joke here:

    • Jolie’s got horns on her head! According to ScreenFreud, that means she’s horn-y and since they’re on her head, it means she wants to give you a bl-

      yeahhh I’ll stop right here.

  3. OZ wasn’t really a financial bonanza. $493 million isn’t spectacular when your film cost $215 million, probably $315m with global marketing. When a sequel is hyped on release weekend, and hasn’t been mentioned in the intervening 8 months it’s usually a sign.

    Hopefully, Disney realizes it actually needs a good story and good script to go along with pretty visuals.

    • Hey I actually thought OZ was pretty good! Might not have been an Oscar worthy movie by any means but I loved the clever way they weaved the prequel into the known story. The only real letdown was how they did the Wicked Witch, the green make-up and prosthetics just didn’t look good.

  4. I’m still trying to understand whether this movie is supposed to have anything of interest aside from the star power of the main attached actress.

    • Yeah, it looks like a mix between Avatar, Legend and Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

      • And none of those movies were very good so here’s hoping Maleficent lives up to the hype.

  5. the SFX look really good, but the story…

  6. WOW! very impressive trailer. Angie does good work.

  7. I’m a sucker for fairy tales, so I’ll probably go see it, but I’m just not feeling any excitement at this point.

  8. Cool trailer. The green fire + horned cap design from the cartoon look fantastic. Looks a lot more appealling than the Oz and Alice attempts. Kinda feels like it might have a bit of 80′s fantasy flavouring.

  9. I was afraid this movie would be too scary for me since the character terrified me as a child. But it seems ok. I think I can watch this without out running out of the theater in fear. But then again it doesn’t look particularly good.

  10. That looked, dare I say it… Magnificent.

  11. I would LOVE to see it. However, having watched the animated, old school format with my tiny person and her yelling at the animated Maleficent and running from the room whenever she came on the scene makes me think this would NOT be one to take her too.

    *sigh*

    I’m still waiting for old school Disney storytelling to return so I can take her to a movie. :(

    • That says to me that maybe your child is a little too young to be watching movies like that. I mean, you yearn for the “old school Disney storytelling” so you can take your child to see a movie but then the previous sentence says that your child ran terrified from an old school Disney story from the 1930s.

      No offense intended in that comment at all, just an observation that it doesn’t sound like Disney and their storytelling is to blame, just something as innocuous as a child being easily scared, as they sometimes are.

  12. Hope the music they use for this trailer is what we can expect in the movie… almost has an 80s vibe to it too.

  13. This is what I have been waiting for! I hated Snow White & The Huntsman (Thor). Jolie’s Evil laugh, and the thorns growing from her green glow. Not many live action Disney movies have impressed me over the years, but this one I’ve been looking forward too since I read about it last year. I really hope she turns into a dragon at sometime during the movie!

  14. Good to see Angie back on the big screen, she seems to not do so many films these days outside of directing. I think this looks like it will be a lot of fun. Love Elle Fanning too.

  15. bad CG is bad

    • Assuming they’ll be doing some clean up for the big screen (as they often do in the months before release) I’d have to say this actually looked pretty good–certainly better than I thought it would. The generation of the forest of thorns needs better coloration work, but even that was better than 90% of what I’ve seen on screen and in trailers.

      Of course, in a post-Gravity world everything else looks miserable.

    • Bad casting is bad.

  16. Hey, Screenrant….I tried muting that damn Honda Accord commercial in the upper right…IT’S NOT MUTABLE!!! (volume is all the way down on it and I can still hear it and it came on AGAIN when I tried watching the trailer) Tut tut

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