There was a stretch a month or so back where it appeared as though every week there was a new breaking story of yet another Disney animated classic film being greenlit to be adapted into a live action feature. There’s currently Jungle Book, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Winnie the Pooh, Night on Bald Mountain and Dumbo in development (and likely others that have slipped my mind at the moment). That’s due to the success Disney has had with the most recent adaptations. Similar to any other movie studio, for Disney success leads to potential sequels. Alice Through the Looking Glass is already set to come out May 27 of next year and now Disney has announced they will begin production on a sequel to Maleficent.
Maleficent, a revisionist take on the classic Sleeping Beauty story which focused on the “evil” fairy of the same name, made $758 million worldwide. That’s a huge success even with a production budget of $180 million. With that, Deadline is reporting that Linda Woolverton will return to write the sequel and Joe Roth is back to produce. It’s unclear whether Robert Stromberg, a visual effects artist and production designer who made his feature directorial debut with Maleficent, or Angelina Jolie will return for Maleficent’s follow-up. Early reports are that Jolie is being kept in the loop and that the script is being written on the assumption that she will return to the character. However, her contract for Maleficent did not include a clause for a sequel so Disney would have to work out a new deal in order to retain her talent.
As long as Jolie signs this is a no-brainer for Disney. The first film made a ton and even though a sequel wouldn’t be a re-telling of the classic tale everyone knows, it should have enough of a built-in audience based on the success of the first one to pull a huge profit for the studio. I thought the first movie was decent. I would’ve preferred if they stayed true to the events of the animated feature and simply showed what was going on behind the scenes instead of making major changes to the familiar story in order to make Maleficent’s character good. Nitpicking aside, Jolie was born for this role.
What do you think of the prospect of a Maleficent sequel? Sound off below. I’ll post more details about the development of this film once I hear more. Thanks for reading.