Disney has released a full-length trailer for its upcoming sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. A continuation of the studio's live-action Sleeping Beauty retelling, the film sees Angelina Jolie reprise her role as the infamous horned fairy opposite Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora. The movie has been relatively slow to move forward for a Disney project and didn't begin shooting until May 2018 (four years after the first Maleficent opened in theaters). However, things have picked up since then, starting with Disney's decision to bump the sequel from May 2020 to October 2019 earlier this year.
The Mouse House released a Mistress of Evil teaser trailer not too long after, providing the first look at new additions Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith and Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip (replacing Brenton Thwaites in the role). But with autumn still a ways off, Disney has been holding back on getting the next wave of marketing going since then. That changes today, now that the summer movie season is halfway done.
The new trailer confirms that Ingrith is Phillip's mother and is eager to become Aurora's mother in law - something that doesn't sit so well with Maleficent, who has fair reason to distrust humans after everything that happened to her in the first movie. However, the big revelation arrives near the end of the preview, as Maleficent comes face to face with another horned fairy (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and discovers that she's far from the only one of her kind. Interestingly, Miranda Richardson and Peter Capaldi were cast as Maleficent's aunt and uncle in the original film, but their roles ultimately ended up on the cutting room floor. As a result, Mistress of Evil will mark the first time that any of Maleficent's relatives are depicted on the big screen.
Most of the footage here doesn't focus on that, though, and instead shines a light on the battle that ensues between Maleficent and Ingrith's forces in the sequel. It appears that the story by Linda Woolverton (Maleficent), Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (Transparent) will primarily be about how Maleficent's past trauma continues to affect her relationship with Aurora, and how her meeting the other horned fairies impacts that. Director Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) seems to have done a decent job of staging the movie's action - as evidenced by the combat sequences glimpsed in this trailer - but it's difficult to say if the plot here will be all that compelling or feel like a hollow attempt to keep the Maleficent brand going. Viewers will just have to wait and find out when Mistress of Evil opens in the fall.
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019