Who is Maleficent?
Maleficent was the name Disney gave to the wicked witch in the classic animated film Sleeping Beauty (1959). She is one of the superb creations of 20th Century film and the character has endured well beyond the original movie. Maleficent has appeared in numerous other Disney books and movies, including the TV series House of Mouse, Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers novels, the ongoing ABC series Once Upon a Time, and perhaps most notably as a major character in the popular Kingdom Hearts video games. When the Ultimate Disney website hosted their top 30 Disney Villains countdown, Maleficent ranked #1.
Now her story is being told properly, in a big-budget live action release from Disney scheduled to arrive May 30. Described as both a prequel and a remake of Sleeping Beauty, the film presents the story from the point of view of Maleficent. Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol) is behind the project; it was written by Paul Dini and Linda Woolverton, and directed by Robert Stromberg. Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, and Elle Fanning star, and the title role is portrayed by Angelina Jolie.
Watch the first trailer below to get a taste of this new dark fantasy from Disney. It promises to be a wholly different take on a famous story.