Disney has officially started filming on the live-action sequel to Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent, in which the actress starred as the villainess horned fairy, alongside Elle Fanning’s Princess Aurora.

Unlike the original Sleeping Beauty, released in 1959, Maleficent painted the titular character in a more sympathetic light, turning her into a victim of circumstance, when her childhood love – Aurora’s father, King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) – betrayed and mutilated her.

As Copley’s character fell victim to the Disney villain curse, and fell to his death in the first film, he won’t be reprising his role in Maleficent II, but Jolie and Fanning are both back, alongside the cast’s new addition, Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith. Also joining the project is Jolie’s Salt costar Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose character is being kept under wraps, but is rumoured to be Jolie’s love interest.

Disney has confirmed that Maleficent II is underway at London’s Pinewood Studios, with the aforementioned cast members, as well as many new additions. Deadpool’s Ed Skrein is reported to be playing the sequel’s villain, Robert Lindsay is joining in an as-yet unknown role, Harris Dickinson is taking over the role of Prince Phillip (which was formerly played by Brenton Thwaites), and reprising their roles are Sam Riley as Diaval, and Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple as pixies Knotgrass, Flittle, and Thistlwit, respectively.

The synopsis for Maleficent II reads:

“A fantasy adventure that picks up several years after “Maleficent,” in which audiences learned of the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse a baby Princess Aurora, “Maleficent II” continues to explore the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen, as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.”

Maleficent II does not yet have a release date.

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