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We can’t help but think that Angelina Jolie’s Disney villainess Maleficent could be the female version of Tim Curry’s Darkness in Ridley Scott’s Legend if Disney wasn’t behind the upcoming Maleficent. In that way, her stunning character feels out of place in this universe — at least based on these new trailers.
Jolie has commented that her costume and makeup scared young girls during the making of the movie, which eventually led to daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt being cast as the young Princess Aurora. The live-action adaptation of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale is being directed by Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg, whose touch is evident in the film’s stylized look. The forest alone looks incredible, but the slickness of the production is missing those textures and grit that made a movie like Scott’s feel like the proper home for a character this deadly and dark.
The re-telling takes us from Maleficent’s early days in an idyllic woodland kingdom, to her battle with the armies that ravaged her land, and to her rise as a ruthless ruler who places a curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. Elle Fanning stars as a grown-up Aurora who becomes caught in the conflict between two worlds. If Disney can use their CGI-heavy story to craft a haunting, near supernatural Maleficent, then they’ve (probably?) succeeded if these two new clips are any indication — but it’s hard not to think about the might-have-beens with such a striking character in the mix.
Maleficent is in theaters on May 30.
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