You’ve seen Sleeping Beauty, right? Of course you have. Every kid born in the last half-century has seen that film at least once, and more often than not, dozens of times. Remember the evil fairy in that movie? The one who puts Princess Aurora — we’re as stunned as you are to find out that “Sleeping Beauty” isn’t the woman’s actual name — to sleep, thus giving the film its key plot point and a descriptive title? The one who turns into a totally awesome dragon that is, despite everything we know about totally awesome dragons, slain by the effete Prince Charming? That’s Maleficent.
And that picture above? That’s Angelina Jolie in costume as Maleficent for Disney’s upcoming film of the same name. Have a look at this Google Image Search for pictures of the original cartoon character; Jolie’s look is pretty spot on, no?
As for the movie itself, Deadline describes the plot thusly:
The live-action film explores the origins of the evil fairy Maleficent and what led her to curse Princess Aurora in the animated Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.
So, like Wicked, except with Sleeping Beauty instead of The Wizard Of Oz. The villains in these child-centric morality fables are always way more interesting than the largely two-dimensional hero characters, so a film focusing on the evil, cruel, domineering Maleficent promises to be far more nuanced and engaging than Sleeping Beauty (at least for adult audiences who can grasp character subtleties and aren’t in it purely to see adorable animals sing songs).
Unfortunately, Maleficent is scheduled to reach the silver screen on March 14, 2014, so expect this image of Jolie in costume to be the first salvo in a long, torturous promotional campaign. Granted, we very much like what we see here, but as we mentioned in this morning’s piece on the final Dark Knight Rises trailer, we’re growing tired of having to anticipate a flick for years before we actually get to see the thing. We understand that production companies need time to properly promote a film to the general public, but teasing us with something this intriguing this far out just seems like cruel punishment. We’ve got the attention span of a gnat, and the patience of children: We want our movies right now, and if we don’t get them we’re going to throw a tantrum like you wouldn’t believe.