It looks like Michelle Pfeiffer will be the next big name to join the cast of Disney's Maleficent 2. She is reportedly in talks to sign on for the sequel to one of the studio's biggest live-action hits, and will star alongside the returning Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. While the plot is currently covered by a veil of secrecy, her mysterious role could be a very important one.
Maleficent was released back in May 2014, and became a flagship project for Disney productions that reimagined their animated classics for a modern audience. But while other films like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella pretty much followed the same narrative beats as their cartoon predecessors, Maleficent turned the tale of Sleeping Beauty on its head and made the usually villainous sorceress the antihero and ultimately a mother figure for Princess Aurora. This seemed to hit a nerve with audiences and it went on to make over $758M worldwide. The sequel has been in development for some time and Jolie confirmed her return as Maleficent last year, despite her directorial work and busy schedule. The production was then marked for a start date during the spring months of this year, with Joachim Rønning at the helm.
With Jolie already announced and Fanning also due to reprise her role as Aurora, Variety now reports that Pfeiffer is in "advanced talks" for a substantial role in the movie. According to sources, the part for which she is expected to sign for is that of "The Queen." There are no further details than that, but it's unlikely to be a background character or cameo.
Pfeiffer will also be joining the recently cast Ed Skrein, who is thought to be playing the main villain. The interesting thing is that the sequel is now in uncharted territory, and free from the expectations of the original Sleeping Beauty plot. Maleficent ended with the title character vanquishing the unfit ruler King Stefan, and Aurora becoming the rightful Queen of the Kingdoms. Meanwhile, Jolie's Fairy regained her wings and power, and returned the Moors to their former beauty. The screenplay for the sequel was written by Linda Woolverton (who wrote the first Maleficent) and Spectre co-writer Jez Butterworth. But with no synopsis so far, it's not known yet whether Pfeiffer's queen will be aligned to good or evil. She could be the ruler of another kingdom, or have a connection with Aurora, or maybe Skrein's villain. It remains to be seen, but the idea of Pfeiffer and Jolie sharing the screen in a live-action Disney film is something to look forward to.
Pfeiffer has got a pretty high profile at the moment, having recently appeared in Darren Aronofsky's divisive horror mother! and Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express. She will also be seen in the upcoming MCU sequel Ant-Man & The Wasp, as the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, which will be her first comic book character since purring onscreen as Catwoman in Batman Returns. Hopefully Pfeiffer will be officially confirmed for Maleficent 2 soon, along with some details about the characters and plot.
There is no release date currently for Maleficent 2. We'll bring you more updates as we get them.