Cower in fear (and admiration) for the villainous Angelina Jolie! Releasing a first look at their upcoming Maleficent, Disney announced today that production is underway on the Jolie-toplined adaptation centered on Sleeping Beauty's evil witch, which "reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora." Just look at those cheekbones. Scary!
The retconned fairytale (in theaters in 2014) brings the witch Maleficent front and center, with innocent young Elle Fanning playing Princess Aurora. Fanning and Jolie are joined by a solid line-up: Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, and Lesley Manville round out the cast, while Disney Renaissance legend Don Hahn is among the executive producers.
Once upon a time, Tim Burton and Darren Aronofsky's names were bandied about to helm the picture, but visual effects vet Robert Stromberg landed in the director's chair, marking his directorial debut. Meanwhile, Maleficent's script is written by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) and they've got Rick Baker onboard for make-up, all of which is promising enough for me...for now.
Maleficent is set for release (in 3-D) on March 14, 2014.