Cameras have started rolling on Disney’s Maleficent sequel.
Production has officially begun on Disney’s live-action Maleficent II, the follow-up to the hit 2014 film starring Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora and Angelina Jolie as the titular villainess, who we found out wasn’t all that bad after all.
Fanning and Jolie are reprising their respective roles in the sequel, with Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville returning as well. New cast members include Michelle Pfeiffer, who will be playing Queen Ingrith, Ed Skrein, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Robert Lindsay, and Harris Dickinson as Prince Phillip.
The film’s official synopsis has been released:
A fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora, “Maleficent II” continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.
Fanning took to Instagram to share some pics from the set:
Directing the sequel is Joachim Rønning, who co-directed Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. This marks the first big-screen feature Rønning is directing solo; his previous films (Bandidas, Max Manus, Kon-Tiki, Dead Men Tell No Tales) saw him directing with longtime collaborator Espen Sandberg.
Writing the screenplay this time around is Disney veteran Linda Woolverton, whose credits inlcude Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland and the first Maleficent, and Transparent scribes Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster.
The first film earned an impressive $US758 million worldwide and provided Disney with the confidence to tackle more live-action adaptations of their previous animated works, including The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and upcoming features Aladdin and Mulan, among others.
Maleficent II still doesn’t have a release date.