Deadpool and Game of Thrones actor Ed Skrein has signed on to play a villain in the upcoming Maleficent sequel from Disney. Released in 2014, Maleficent starred Angelina Jolie as the titular spell-casting Sleeping Beauty villainess. In a twist, Maleficent came to regret putting Sleeping Beauty to sleep, thus making Maleficent not so malevolent after all.
Part of Disney's drive to remake most of its classic animated properties as live-action films, Maleficent grossed $241 million domestically and $758 million worldwide. Plans for a sequel remained in limbo while star Jolie pursued other acting and directorial projects, but finally got going again in 2017, with Jolie confirming her return in September. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 director Joachim Rønning later jumped aboard to helm, and a spring 2018 start date was revealed. Elle Fanning also returns to play Aurora.
Related: Maleficent 2 Moving Forward
With filming on Maleficent 2 ready to begin soon, Variety reports that Ed Skrein has joined the cast in the role of a villain. No further specifics on his part are currently known (the same can be said for the entire movie's plot, which remains under wraps). Skrein signs on for the Disney sequel after bowing out of the Hellboy reboot to make way for Daniel Dae Kim.
The chiseled Skrein became the answer to a trivia question when he took on the role of Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones, only to later be fired and replaced with the much more popular Michiel Huisman. Skrein made up for that disappointment by scoring the role of Ajax in the R-rated superhero blockbuster Deadpool. The actor now has multiple big roles lined up, including Zapan in James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel. He will also appear in director Barry Jenkins' Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk. Later this year, he stars with fellow Game of Thrones actor Natalie Dormer in the thriller In Darkness. He also stars in the techno thriller Tau alongside Maika Monroe and Gary Oldman.
After the huge success of Maleficent, it was a no-brainer that Disney would want to make a sequel. However, it was not necessarily a no-brainer that Jolie would agree to return, given all the other irons the actor-producer-director has in the fire. Things definitely are moving forward now though, with Skrein set to bring his menacing talents to the table in a villainous role. We will keep you up to date as more details come to light about casting, plot and everything else related to Maleficent 2. Disney of course has multiple other live-action remakes in the pipeline, including Christopher Robin, Aladdin, Dumbo, Mulan, The Lion King and Pinocchio.
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019
- Disney's Christopher Robin (2018) release date: Aug 03, 2018
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019