It appears the wheels are in motion to produce a sequel to Disney’s Maleficent. The original, which stars Angelina Jolie as the titular villainess, garnered mixed reviews from critics (49 percent on the Tomatometer) but made a strong showing at the box-office, earning a whopping $760 million worldwide.
It comes as little surprise, then, that Disney would look to carry this fractured fairy tale forward. Word is that Joe Roth will return as producer, and the studio has drafted Linda Woolverton to pen the second installment.
While Disney hopes to have Jolie reprise her role, talks are preliminary, and the actress has yet to sign on. Robert Stromberg — who made his directorial debut in the original — isn’t attached yet either.
Despite Maleficent’s strong showing overall, just 32 percent ($241 million) of its total take was earned domestically. The other 68 percent ($517 million) was tallied in foreign markets, most notably Japan ($63.2 million) and China ($47.7 million), according to the most recent available data.
Some in the U.S. might be scratching their heads over the decision to move forward with a sequel, but the movie business is a global one.
There are also those that would criticize Disney for milking its existing stable of characters, rather than creating fresh ones, but it’s a formula that has proved successful in the past. Earlier this year, the studio released an updated version of Cinderella, which cost just under $100 million to make and raked in an impressive $532.6 million worldwide.
With the movie business still struggling to orient itself in the new media landscape, those are numbers that are hard – and probably foolish – to ignore. That said, it’s a good bet that we’ll see more characters from Disney lore reappearing on the big screen in the future.