The worlds of darkness and light merge to create a brand new Disney fantasyscape in Maleficent, a new spin on the classic fairy tale that puts the Sleeping Beauty villainess front and center.
"This film gives us the opportunity to find out the history of Maleficent and where she came from," says director Robert Stromberg in this behind-the-scenes featurette. He’s referring to the evil fairy who inspired many childhood nightmares, one of the most terrifying antagonists in Disney’s animated filmography.
And she has a great time providing those nightmares.
[Photos: Maleficent World Press Tour]
"Maleficent has a wicked sense of fun," says Angelina Jolie, who plays the live-action version of the classic villainess. "She enjoys being evil and she revels in it."
Maleficent is a fairy, though, which means there’s a touch of class and style when it comes to her magic — and her backyard.
"The world of Maleficent is very, very dark but at the same time very elegant and beautiful," says Jolie, with new footage revealing her hauntingly gorgeous nighttime realm. Maleficent also shows the range of her powers, from tossing knights in armor through the air to delicately casting a spell putting young Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) to sleep.
While Maleficent tells a previously untold tale of a woman scorned (Maleficent vows vengeance against Sharlto Copley’s King Stefan for robbing her of her wings), it certainly isn’t a revisionist project — in fact, it's very much a companion piece to the original Sleeping Beauty (1959).
"We've respected the classic," assures Jolie. "We've tried to bring you what you love about this story — it's kind of a different but classic fairy tale, and it has a lot of heart."
And, of course, a fire-breathing dragon.
Maleficent opens May 30.