Five years after she first donned the iconic horns and black robes, Angelina Jolie will reprise her most iconic role of the decade in the sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil this October. The follow-up to the subversive retelling of Sleeping Beauty hit will see Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), her loyal familiar Diaval (Sam Riley), Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), and Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) return as the peace between fairies and humans is threatened by Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer).
But even if an official synopsis was provided by Disney, little to nothing about its plot is known due to how cryptic the teaser trailer was. If anything, the trailer provided fans with more questions than answers regarding what happened in between movies and what the central conflict is going to be. Here are 10 such questions that we have after watching the trailer for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
10 How is the Union Between Fairies and Humans?
Mistress of Evil takes place years after the events of Maleficent, which ended with the unification of the human and fairy kingdoms. But if the sequel’s trailer is any indication, the peace was short-lived and the fairies will find themselves at odds with mankind once again.
Will the peace between races be restored, or has it been shattered forever? How the sequel will explore this shaky truce will be intriguing, since it could serve as a fantastical allegory to certain topical issues in the same way Maleficent took on sexual themes (more on that later).
9 What’s The Impact of King Stefan’s Death?
King Stefan may have been an incompetent despot who deserved his fate, but he was still a king nonetheless. The fact that a powerful fairy is complicit in his death only worsens the situation, especially since humans have an irrational fear and hatred of any magical creature.
Now that Mistress of Evil is expanding its scope and the setting’s borders, neighboring kingdoms will be brought into the story and their reaction to the union between Maleficent’s magical realm and Aurora’s human domain will be interesting, to say the least. Hopefully, the sequel doesn’t shy away from this potential subtext.
8 Will Aurora’s Marriage Last?
One of the teaser’s first scenes shows Phillip proposing to Aurora and based on the forest’s ecstatic reactions, she said yes. While their love for one another that was hinted at in the first movie was finally proven true, what remains unclear is if they’ll get a happy ending.
The proposal itself looks like it came from the movie’s opening act, meaning that their marriage could either be interrupted by the war to come. Will the two lovers be together forever, or will something tragic shatter their dreams? We’ll finally find out when the movie hits cinemas this October.
7 What’s Up with Phillip’s Parents?
After only being hinted at in the first movie, Prince Phillip’s parents will finally be shown in person in the sequel. Now that Aurora and Phillip seem to be on their way to matrimony, it only makes sense for them to meet the parents.
The thing is, Queen Ingrith seems openly hostile towards Maleficent while King John doesn’t even know how to react. Are their initial reactions motivated by mere ignorance or a deeper, more personal hatred for magical beings and their allies? Given the subversive nature of the predecessor, there may be more to the monarchs’ attitudes.
6 What Causes the War?
The selling point of the Mistress of Evil teaser is a full-scale war between Maleficent’s magical realm and Queen Ingrith’s human kingdom (or maybe an alliance of human kingdoms). What sparked the two powerful queens’ clash, however, remains absent from the trailer.
Were the humans fueled by their continued hatred and mistrust of the fairy folk? Are the fairies using their magical might to establish their dominion over the humans? Did someone manipulate both sides into open conflict to achieve their grander schemes? Only time will tell.
5 Who Attacked First?
Contrary to initial expectations and her animated roots, Maleficent’s violence in the first movie was done in self-defense. This made her more malicious actions–specifically, putting a curse on a baby–somewhat justifiable if not wholly agreeable, and this may be carried over to the sequel.
It remains unclear if Maleficent was pushed into war or if she declared it herself, and either path carries heavy ramifications for her character. If she was provoked, her reinterpretation as an unfairly misunderstood anti-hero will be further developed but if otherwise, she’ll be following a new villainous route.
4 Will Aurora and Maleficent’s Friendship Last?
According to the provided synopses, the bond that Aurora and Maleficent share will be challenged by the sequel’s events. Though the two became good friends over the course of the first movie, the fact remains that they come from different worlds that may be on the brink of war.
It doesn’t help that Maleficent’s actions may be what endangers her friendship with Aurora, who angrily confronts her during the teaser’s 50-second mark. While the specifics are hidden, it may be safe to bet that the connection between Aurora and Maleficent won’t be the same by the sequel’s end.
3 Will Maleficent Turn Evil?
A complaint some people had with Maleficent was that the titular character was more of an anti-hero than the straightforward villain of the animated classic. Some appreciated her newfound depth, while others missed the alluring yet unapologetically evil character.
Based on its subtitle alone, Mistress of Evil seems to be addressing this issue by having Maleficent turn into the dark fairy that she was known to be. The trailer even shows glimpses of her assault on a human kingdom, though the reasons as to why and just how “evil” she’ll get to be onscreen still remain unknown.
2 What’s The Sequel Going to Symbolically Be About?
One of the best and most surprising elements of Maleficent was how it was a rape allegory. The filmmakers confirmed that Stefan’s betrayal was meant to evoke the harrowing aftermath of being raped, making Maleficent’s rage justified and understandable.
With her vengeance concluded in the first film, the question as to what her sequel will tackle through fantastical imagery remains unanswered. The fact that the Moors is an isolated kingdom for the setting’s minorities (i.e. magical creatures) has led some to speculate relevant issues, but we’ll have to wait for the sequel to confirm or debunk these guesses.
1 Is The Trailer Lying?
Maleficent was originally advertised as the villainess’ origin story, not the revenge/redemption storyline it actually was. The movie subverted the original story's iconic events, like what “true love’s kiss” really meant and showing Maleficent in a sympathetic light. Because of this, it’s hard not to doubt Mistress of Evil’s marketing.
While the sequel’s teaser may hint at Maleficent’s descent into villainy, it still could be misdirection. Maybe it’s about Maleficent being a tragic villain, or maybe it’s about her defending her domain at all costs. Whatever the case, there’s more to Mistress of Evil than what meets the eye.