How do you re-imagine a terrifying, green skinned, horned, baby targeting fairy as the heroine of the tale? We're not sure, but the latest live action feature from the Mouse House promises to provide the answer, with Angelina Jolie stepping into the role
The film sees Jolie's Maleficent growing up in an idyllic forest, only to see it ravaged by an invading army and to be betrayed by those closest to her, "an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone". Out for revenge, she curses the baby daughter of the invading king – but as the child (Elle Fanning) grows up she realises that she may be the key to peace between the kingdoms.
Jolie has described Maleficent as more than the traditional villainess who'll transform into a dragon and hit scorch at the first sniff of a grievance. In short, it's Maleficent's journey to the place we found her in Sleeping Beauty (1959). "I hope in the end you see a woman who is capable of being many things", she told Entertainment Weekly, "and just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn't mean she can't have other warmer qualities. You have to figure out the puzzle of what she is."
Fun fact, incidentally: that's Jolie's daughter Vivienne as the young Aurora, presumably because she's the only toddler around who didn't burst into tears around Jolie's horned figure.
Joining her for the ride are Sharlto Copley (District 9), Lesley Manville (Another Year), Sam Riley (Control), Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix), Juno Temple (Atonement) and Miranda Richardson (The Young Victoria). The film's scheduled for a 30 May 2014 release in the US and should be out in the UK soon after.