Ones of the films that set off Disney’s slew of live-action remake development is getting a sequel: Maleficent 2 is in the works at Disney.
Deadline reports that Disney has tasked Linda Woolverton with penning a sequel to last year’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie. Although the lead actress isn’t formally attached to star in the sequel (yet), Jolie is being kept “in the loop” and “the sequel will be written for her to reprise.”
Woolverton is a special screenwriter. Her credits include Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland (2010), Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) and the animated versions of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
Disney has yet to select a director for the sequel, but Deadline says Maleficent producer Joe Roth is on board for film number two.
Maleficent entered theaters last summer and went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year. It made $241 million domestically and $758 million worldwide following its May 2014 release.
Though critic reviews of Maleficent were mixed (it received a 49% average rating on Rotten Tomatoes), viewers were intrigued by the plot twist at the end which gave the villain a story different from the one we remembered from Sleeping Beauty. For better or for worse, the change — which made Maleficent the hero — got people talking and brought a refreshing change to the classic story.
Maleficent’s success set off a firestorm of live-action development at Disney. Since last year we’ve learned the studio is working on live-action retellings of Beauty and the Beast (currently filming), Mulan, Fantasia, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio. Earlier this year Disney debuted their live-action version of Cinderella — unlike Maleficent, it received rave reviews.
Disney appears to be juggling several live-action projects right now and hasn’t set dates for most of them. The goal at the moment appears to be coming up with good stories before deciding to green-light production.
Will you welcome a sequel to ‘Maleficent’?
Certainly Jolie’s involvement will make the project something worth paying attention to. It’d be a bad sign if she wasn’t involved (remember when a lot of Disney sequels/threequels went direct to DVD?).