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Although Disney had remade a few of its classic animated movies pre-2014, Maleficent was arguably the movie that kicked off the Mouse House's current trend of digging deep into its animated catalogue and giving many of those stories the live action treatment. That said, unlike movies like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, which stayed relative close to their animated predecessors, Maleficent was only a loose adaptation of 1959's Sleeping Beauty, mainly because (as is obvious from the title) it centered on the eponymous witch. Four years after Maleficent's release, the sequel is finally starting to make some progress forward, and word has come in that Michelle Pfeiffer could join Maleficent 2 in quite the royal role.
According to Variety, Michelle Pfeiffer is in advanced talks to appear in Maleficent 2 as the movie's queen, though no other details were provided. If Pfeiffer's deal is finalized, she will join a cast that so far consists of Angelina Jolie reprising Maleficent, Elle Fanning reprising Aurora and Deadpool's Ed Skrein playing the main villain. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Rønning will helm the sequel, and Jez Butterworth and Linda Woolverton wrote the latest draft of the script. Having taken a few years off from acting, Pfeiffer returned to the spotlight last year with the theatrical movies Where is Kyra?, mother! and Murder on the Orient Express, as well as the TV movie Wizard of Lies. She will appear later as Janet van Dyne in Ant-Man and the Wasp, another movie from the Disney family.
Maleficent ended with Elle Fanning's Aurora being crowned queen, and since Fanning is returning for Maleficent 2, then presumably this movie only takes place a few years after the first one. That would suggest that this queen Michelle Pfeiffer is being eyed to play rules over a different kingdom, though that still doesn't shed light on how she fits into this new story. Regardless, Pfeiffer would be a great addition to the cast, and she already has some fantasy experience under her belt from playing Lamia in 2007's Stardust.
Once Maleficent 2 does finally get off the ground, it will be the first sequel in this era of Disney's live action "remakes." The Second Jungle Book has also been announced, but with director Jon Favreau still busy working on The Lion King, it'll be a while before he can move to that project. Critically, Maleficent was met with mixed reception, but commercially it performed quite well, making over $758 million worldwide.
Maleficent 2 is expected to begin production sometime later this year, but the sequel doesn't have an assigned release date yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information and other updates. In the meantime, you can learn what other live action Disney adaptations are on the way by browsing through our handy guide.