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Angelina Jolie as Maleficent

It took a long time to get a sequel to Maleficent off the ground and while it's been half a year since the project wrapped filming, it was still going to be more than a year before the movie hit theaters, with the film set to release in May of 2020. However, this morning Disney revealed a few small pieces of very interesting information. One was the film's official title, and another was a brand new release date that moves the film way up the calendar. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is now coming out this year, on October 18, 2019.

Why This Release Date Is A Big Change

When release dates for movies change, it's almost exclusively delays. When films do have their release pushed up, it might be by a couple of weeks, or at the most a couple of months. Seeing a movie jump more than a year up the calendar is unusual.

From a post-production stand point it's probably not an issue. The film is still coming out more than a year after filming wrapped. The bigger issue with the release date move is that Disney is moving Maleficent: Mistress of Evil into an already very crowded year, one that's been made crowded mostly by Disney itself.

This will make Maleficent: Mistress of Evil the fourth Disney live action remake -- or in this case, sequel to one -- coming out this year alone. Dumbo hits later this month, then Aladdin in May, The Lion King in July, and now Maleficent in October.

And that's just the movies based on previous animated material. 2019 is a huge year for Disney, from Captain Marvel arriving this week, to Avengers: Endgame to Frozen II to Star Wars: Episode IX, the House of Mouse is going to have no problem bringing in a massive box office this year, The studio didn't exactly need the help.

Having said all that, there is something of a gap in that schedule, as Disney didn't have anything on the calendar between August's Artemis Fowl and November's Frozen II so it's not like Disney will be cannibalizing its own box office here. And a pre-Halloween release date for Disney's biggest villain isn't the worst idea in the world. Nothing of note was set to release that weekend. Zombieland 2 and the animated Addams Family movie are set to hit the weekend before.

Maleficent 2 Also Got A First Look

In addition to the title and release date, a poster for the new film was also released. Check it out below.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil poster

The Title Calls Back To Sleeping Beauty

In Disney's original Sleeping Beauty Maleficent refers to herself as the "Mistress of All Evil." While the title calls back to that, don't expect Angelina Jolie's character to be too evil. She's not technically the villain of the story. That role is reportedly been taken by Ed Skrein.

Although, the use of the title with the new release date makes one wonder if the new movie will be something closer to horror than the original. It's certainly setting itself up to imply a very dark movie.

The success of the original Maleficent is largely responsible for the influx of live-action remakes that Disney has gone all-in on. The movie was a smash hit. The sequel will also be a return for Angelina Jolie who hasn't been on screen since the year after the original Maleficent came out. If fans are still hungry for the character or the actress then we could see yet another big hit in what is already going to be a year of big hits for Disney.

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