Disney's Maleficent Confirmed For March 2014 Release Date
Maleficent was starting to seem like one of those movies that stays in development forever but never gets made, with Angelina Jolie consistently hoping to play the classic Disney villain, but a series of directors from Tim Burton to David O. Russell rotating in and out behind the camera. But the project has been picking up steam lately, hiring production designer Robert Stromberg as director and getting Jolie out there to talk about how excited she is to tape into her dark side. And now enough pieces have finally fallen into place that a release date is in sight.
Disney announced today that Maleficent will come to theaters on March 14, 2014, making it even more clear that they intend this as another Alice in Wonderland-style hit. That spin on a classic tale opened March 5, 2010 and went on to gross a mind-boggling $1 billion worldwide, setting up a new model for female-led blockbusters that The Hunger Games also handily mimicked this year. Stromberg was the production designer on Wonderland, and while there's still time to hope that Maleficent will be a little more elegant and dark than the eyesore-heavy Wonderland, it's clear they're taking the Alice model to heart.
Tellingly, Disney's announcement did nothing to confirm recent rumors that Elle Fanning might play Sleeping Beauty opposite Jolie's Maleficent. She seems too perfect for the role to be out of contention entirely, but for now, we can assume that part isn't confirmed. Below is everything the press release told us that you can take to the bank about Maleficent.
The live-action film explores the origins of the evil fairy Maleficent and what led her to curse Princess Aurora in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty. Leading a team of visionary filmmakers known for creating and transporting audiences to new and exciting worlds, Academy Award®-winning production designer Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful) will direct with a script by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Alice in Wonderland). Maleficent is produced by Joe Roth (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful).
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