Disney presents “Maleficent,” starring Academy Award®–winning actress Angelina Jolie in the title role. This year, 2014, marks the 55th Anniversary of the character who put a spell on young “Sleeping Beauty” in the animated feature released by Disney in 1959. Since her introduction, Maleficent has been Disney’s all-time most popular villain. Now she returns in this live-action version of the classic story—and there’s a lot about her we never knew.
“I loved Maleficent when I was a little girl,” says Jolie. “She was my favorite Disney character. I was afraid of her and I loved her.” This duality intrigued producer Joe Roth as well. “This movie is about a character we’ve only known as hard-hearted,” says Roth, “and our story answers the question ‘Why?’ I’d like audiences to feel like they’ve entered a world they’ve never seen before with ‘Maleficent’ and I hope they come away feeling like no one is beyond redemption.”
“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant, Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
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“Maleficent” is directed by two-time Oscar®-winning production designer Robert Stromberg (“Avatar,” “Alice in Wonderland”), in his directorial debut,and produced by Joe Roth. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton (“The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast”) and the film is executive produced by Angelina Jolie, Michael Vieira, Don Hahn, Palak Patel, Matt Smith and Sarah Bradshaw.
Co-starring in the film are Sharlto Copley (“District 9”), Elle Fanning (“Super 8”), Sam Riley (“On the Road”), Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake”), Juno Temple (“Atonement”) and Lesley Manville (“Secrets & Lies”).
Behind-the-scenes talent includes Academy Award®–winning cinematographer Dean
Semler (“Dances with Wolves,” “In the Land of Blood and Honey”), production designers Gary Freeman (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Bourne Supremacy”) and Dylan Cole, two-time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Anna B. Sheppard (“Schindler’s List,” “The Pianist”), seven-time Academy Award®–winning makeup artist Rick Baker (“Planet of the Apes,” “Men in Black”) and editors Chris Lebenzon (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”) and Richard Pearson (“United 83,” “Iron Man 2”).
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